NIGEL BROOK PARTNER, CLYDE & CO
Resilience is the ability to bounce back and recover from an event and, from its very inception, the insurance industry has been in the business of helping individuals, businesses and communities build such resilience. This core purpose remains but the range and nature of the risks facing individuals, businesses and communities is perhaps broader and more complex than it has ever been. All these groups lead more interconnected and interdependent existences due to a range of forces, including technological developments, globalisation, population growth and rapid urbanisation. Meanwhile, weather- related losses are more common and more extreme thanks, at least in part, to man- made climate change. The insurance industry faces real questions of how to respond to the opportunities and challenges of this changing risk landscape. The industry is developing many new and innovative ways to mitigate risk for individuals, businesses and communities around the world today. Some of these involve the evolution of traditional insurance models but others are using technology, improved risk modelling and different funding structures to create new
types of cover. One such development is the use of parametric (or index) insurance. This paper will explore the growth of parametric insurance and consider the important role it has to play in building resilience to natural catastrophes. With parametric triggers having been used in the capital markets for 20 years or more, this paper will explore some of the legal and regulatory challenges and considerations that arise as they are increasingly used in insurance. The potential of parametric insurance is huge and increasingly well recognised by the industry, governments and end users. This paper sets out to provide additional background and ballast to support the industry as these products develop. One particular benefit of parametric insurance may be its role in helping to address and close the protection gap (the amount of economic loss that isn’t insured), which is significant in the developed world and huge in the developing world. Not only does parametric insurance potentially make insurance cover viable for millions of people, it reasserts the insurance sector’s role as central to building resilience around the world. We hope you enjoy the paper.
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