September has arrived after all the uncertainties that the summer unleashed upon the world economy. The interconnectivity of the world has created more chaos and confusion, sometimes hurting the innocents in Asia from so far away too. As a journalist, I am still trying to make sense of it all in order to draw some conclusions to share.
The world is changing super fast, though we try with age and wisdom to slow it down. We now even have ‘woke’ and ‘new weird’ as the norms. Go figure. It can be good and eye-opening too.
Then this summer’s extreme heat has also drawn attention to the realities of climate change, forcing insurers and reinsurers to rethink Nat CAT and environmental liability issues. There must be ‘going green’ perks added to getting insured in order to change people’s lifestyles to help the earth to stay cool.
There is so much happening and so much to be done, as the new renewal season gets a kick start with the Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous where some 2,000-odd leaders from the reinsurance world will show up. And the capital market players will be there in full force too, despite the huge insured losses of $138bn of last year that failed to shake them off.
This renewal will be a game-changer as Asia continues to get bigger and several of the direct players begin to flex their muscles internationally beyond the continent. And the 15th SIRC to be held in Singapore at the end of October as the leading reinsurance rendezvous of Asia – with the theme of ‘Reinsurance Reloaded’ to give reinsurers that extra edge. And the reinsurers are listening to their clients with the keynote address coming from AIG’s big boss himself, the celebrated Mr Brian Duperreault.
In the primary markets, there is also the power of technology, InsurTech and FinTech driving the insurers to be more customer-centric and even service-centric beyond just risk carriers. The speed of change and each player outdoing the other in service is good for the industry but totally mind-boggling.
So we can only gawk at what is happening, wondering if the client is getting happier or just more ungrateful and more demanding. As Nobel Prize in Literature winner Bob Dylan, who was in Asia for some concerts recently, still says, “The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind”, pollution notwithstanding.
As for us, September is hyped with investing in local knowledge, going gaga over the silver tsunami (pensions and ageing), wellness and health, cyber worries, beefing up cover for farms, agriculture, the power of tech-savvy distribution, the new capital paradigm and, of course, the head-turner of the day: Belt and Road Initiative. Our country profile is on Malaysia where regulation is transforming both the conventional and takaful markets. With the AIRDC meeting in Kathmandu we bring you a spotlight on Nepal, which is rebranding itself too.
We add to the busy diary of September including IUMI, with our own Cyber Summit in Singapore, given its importance to the insurance business, and an Agriculture Insurance Conference in New Delhi, as farmers around the world are flexing their political muscles.
Keep ahead of the buzz, but always keep a clear head and remember, as Voltaire says, feel “guilty of all the good” you did not do. So step up the CSR, even in the name of business. The world needs it.
Asia Insurance Review