C-Suite Panel: Insurers Have Expertise Needed to Boost Resilience

For immediate release
Contact: Michael Barry, 917-923-8245

NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2021—Beyond acting as financial first responders, insurers are helping policyholders mitigate the risks posed by natural disasters and cyber threats, according to panelists who convened last week at the Insurance Information Institute’s (Triple-I) Joint Industry Forum (JIF).

The JIF’s C-Suite on Resilience Panel was moderated by John Huff, President and CEO, Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) and included Richard Creedon, CEO, Utica Mutual Insurance Company; Paul Horgan, Head of U.S. National Accounts, Zurich North America; John Smith, CEO, Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company, and Rohit Verma, CEO, Crawford & Co.

“2021 has been a year of risk that has certainly challenged us,” ABIR’s Huff stated. “Eighteen events in the U.S. alone with over a billion dollars an event. Just a few years ago, those types of numbers would be unheard of, not to mention the 538 deaths and significant economic losses.”

Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm which made landfall in Louisiana in August, and the Dixie Fire, which burned 1 million acres in California over a period of four months, were two of the most devastating national disasters this year.

“One recurring theme that we can talk about, especially with hurricanes and wildfires, is that we have growth in population in areas that are significantly impacted by these threats,” said Phil Klotzbach, PhD, a research scientist at Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science, and a Triple-I non-resident scholar, in introductory remarks before the session began.

Before offering guidance on how insurers can broaden their services to promote resilience, the panelists were asked to define resilience.

“When I think about resilience, I think about resilience as being able to recover from adversity, able to recover from a loss, or prevent that loss from having any impact on you,” Crawford & Co.’s Verma said.

Insurers have recognized their changing societal role by focusing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and non-financial factors which impact their business and potentially provide growth opportunities, the panelists agreed.

“The complexity of risk has dramatically changed,” said Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company’s Smith. “Think about the topics of today: ESG, cyber, diversity. They’re all aspects of the business world that we have not dealt with over the centuries.”

“The opportunity moment for us is that there’s market need and there’s expertise that we have to expand beyond the traditional risk transfer product,” said Utica Mutual Insurance Company’s Creedon. Insurer risk management and loss control services can augment an insurer’s traditional risk transfer capabilities, Creedon noted.

“Our customers are craving for insights,” stated Zurich North America’s Horgan, adding later, “They know where they need to be, and they’ve got this journey to get there.”


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