We thought this fireside chat post from AON was worth a look, as the situation regarding Covid-19 seems to have gone into reverse somewhat, at least in the minds of politicians. It is worth considering that if developed economies are going to be so risk averse to the point of banning music, visiting another person’s home or imposing curfews, then how can insurers navigate trickier waters in Commercial, Life and Healthcare in particular? In some respects a panic-demic is worse in terms of economic damage than a hurricane, as it lasts far longer as a catastrophe event.
Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has interviewed Swiss Re’s Reinsurance CEO Moses Ojeisekhoba as part of its Virtual Reinsurance Renewal Season. The goal of Aon’s fireside chats is to drive growth across the re/insurance industry in order to bring capital closer to clients’ needs and enable them to flourish in a stronger economy. The series will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing major re/insurers and insurance buyers, sharing both perspectives.
Hosted by Andy Marcell, global CEO of Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions business, Mr. Ojeisekhoba highlighted that while diversity and inclusion was receiving attention in the industry, firms should not view it as a ‘box-checking’ exercise.
“We need to move well beyond the superficial; beyond the usual set of language, the usual things we tend to say, which, quite frankly, have no risk attached to them,” he said.
“Saying ‘look at me, I don’t have a bone of discrimination in my body’ is a roundabout way of saying ‘don’t bother me, I don’t want to do anything about this’.”
“The industry as a whole needs to say ‘this is serious for us’, and it should be, because there’s a tremendous amount of talent out there that simply doesn’t get the [appropriate] level of exposure.”
Mr. Ojeisekhoba addressed the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and said that the COVID-19 crisis should make the industry realise that swift and positive change is achievable.
“It was remarkable, for an industry that people say doesn’t embrace change, that when it was necessary, in one week, two weeks, a month, we saw a complete metamorphosis. And I think we have to take some learnings from that in terms of what we’re capable of doing.”
In terms of COVID-19, he said that the total cost of the pandemic was far beyond the capacity of the re/insurance industry, which is why effective public-private partnerships were essential.
“We need to work with the public sector to ensure that the right backstops are put in place, so that when something like this happens again, it doesn’t have the same devastating effect on economies.”
Mr. Ojeisekhoba added that the challenges of the pandemic were surmountable, attesting to the value of long-term industry relationships, which had remained intact through many crises.
Mr. Ojeisekhoba also highlighted low interest rates as being a “super important” factor in the current business environment, and a key challenge faced by the re/insurance industry due to their impact on re/insurers’ investment returns, with the casualty and life business particularly affected due to the longer-tail nature of the exposures.
To watch the full interview and register for future fireside chats, please visit: https://aon.io/31YRfMP.