Reinsurance News

Analysts call for more collaboration between re/insurers and academia

28th May 2020 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Research collaboration organisation Lighthill Risk Network Ltd (Lighthill) has called on the global re/insurance sector to support a coordinated effort to establish and improve links with academia.

By working more closely with academics and researchers, Lighthill believes the re/insurance industry can deepen its understanding of systemic risks facing societies.

As part of this effort, the organisation has published a new report outlining key research themes and challenges that would benefit from collaboration.

The report provides a snapshot of the current major challenges for the non-life property and casualty insurance sectors, ranging from climate change to cyber risk and managing global uncertainty.

For example, on catastrophe risks, Lighthill contends that researchers can help re/insurers by further developing current flood, hydrological and atmospheric model methodologies, supporting end-user validation of models, and improving the accuracy of results through better input data.

There is also an opportunity for insurers to partner with academics to analyse claims data and validate the vulnerability functions used in catastrophe models.

And on cyber, insurers could benefit from research into a standardised terminology framework for cyber incidents, as well as consolidated data set of major historic cyber loss events.

“The drive for insurance to increase its global impact and relevance is continuous – our sector can and must help build further resilience and mitigate the impacts that risks such as natural disasters, systemic economic crashes, and emerging technology present to economies and societies,” said Lighthill Chief Executive Dickie Whitaker.

“And the protection gap – the portion of economic losses not covered by the private sector or government-sponsored insurance programmes – is, in part, a consequence of these challenges.”

He continued: “The current Coronavirus pandemic brings into sharp focus the constant need for the insurance industry to continuously develop and refine its understanding of risk and the drivers behind decision making and insurability.”

“Doubtless, this crisis will impact our industry and many others in the months and years to come, and improving links with academia / insurance could help us all learn lessons and build resilience after the dust has settled.”

“How can we deliver products to people who do not buy insurance?” Whitake further stated. “How can we better communicate the value of insurance and is the perception of the value of insurance changing? At the same time, how can we make research more relevant to ultimate decision makers?”

“Enhancing knowledge transfer into business from academic experts is at the forefront of risk-related research. This report is intended to provide the research community with a gateway to collaborate with the insurance sector by highlighting current key research priorities.”

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