Tag Archives: International Insurance Society

Surprising Lack of Innovation Plans

The 2020 Global Concerns Survey of insurance leaders by the International Insurance Society contains two major surprises. (I got an early look because ITL collaborated on this latest annual survey.)

The smaller surprise is that COVID-19 ranks only second among the most important issues the executives identified. I had expected that the pandemic would be the top concern, given that 2.4 million people have died worldwide, that economies have been devastated and that insurers face exposure, especially given the recent decision by the U.K. Supreme Court that business-interruption insurance should cover pandemic-related claims.

The bigger surprise is that, while innovation is the top concern, only 35% of respondents said they have an active, comprehensive plan — meaning that two-thirds do not. A further 12% said their firms are preparing to implement a plan, but that still leaves more than half with little innovation activity.

“I believe the health crisis has actually highlighted the need for innovation.” said Josh Landau, president of the IIS. “The pandemic has exposed areas of weakness in how companies connected with clients and staff and managed data.”

Maybe I’m taking the lack of innovation planning personally, given how much we stress the need for digital transformation at Insurance Thought Leadership and how many pieces we’ve published that try to give companies a starting point for innovation efforts.

It’s true that not all promises related to innovation have been borne out — the peer-to-peer model didn’t work, on-demand insurance has proved tricky, too many have claimed “transformation,” etc. — but I still see the industry as a good five to seven years into a wave of technology-driven innovation, and I’d think that just about every company would at least have a plan in place.

I suppose the good news is that those of you who have laid the groundwork for substantive innovation have stolen a march on those who have yet to get going. If you’ve begun reinventing and speeding up your claims processes, are already incorporating lots of unstructured data into your increasingly digital underwriting operations, are experimenting with chatbots, robotic process automation and other tools to take a whack at your operating costs, are exploring how to use technology to reimagine the customer experience from scratch… well, I predict you will be rewarded for your prescience.

In the meantime, we at ITL will redouble our efforts both to sell the industry on the need to emphasize innovation and to help people and companies get started.

Stay safe.

Paul

P.S. Here is a link to the press release on the study and to a white paper based on it. In addition to ITL, the Pacific Insurance Conference collaborated with IIS on the survey. All three entities are affiliates of The Institutes.

P.P.S. Here are the six articles I’d like to highlight from the past week:

4 Connectivity Trends to Watch in 2021

In a business defined by relationships, connecting well on a virtual basis will be more than a change — it will be a requirement.

The Intersection of IoT and Ecosystems

Insurers can build a sort of digital twin of the customer, then tailor their offerings and improve the customer experience.

Let’s Do More Than Create Faster Horses

COVID-19 has accelerated adoption of e-trading and smashed paradigms. There is an opening for something fundamentally new.

Closing the Protection Gap

With climate risk on the rise and exposure growing, parametric insurance can plug the gaps left by traditional insurance.

Why CX Must Trump Efficiency

Companies talk about improving customer experience but focus too much on saving money. Customer process automation does both.

CISOs, Risk Managers: Better Together

In most large firms, risk managers buy cyber insurance–but are rarely expert in network security and may not fully understand the risk profile.

The Next Wave of Insurtech

At the recent International Insurance Society annual meeting, panelists laid out some intriguing thoughts on insurtech, saying that the first wave is ending and describing the outlines of the second wave that has already begun to form.

The key takeaways: 1) The industry is focusing too much on what panelists called “the shiny objects,” like artificial intelligence, and not enough on the issues that really matter to customers and to corporate bottom lines; and 2) incumbents will bear much of the responsibility for whatever success the second wave has, depending on how well they retool their mindsets and their processes to absorb the steady stream of innovations that smaller players will provide.

The best image: the mullet. That’s how Jamie Yoder, president of Snapsheet, characterized innovation in insurance to date. “There has been so much attention paid to the front end [basically, sales],” he said, “but there’s a huge opportunity to clean up the back.”

In addition to Yoder, whose young company digitizes and automates the claims process in personal lines, the panel consisted of: 1) Chris Cheatham, who founded a startup, RiskGenius, that uses AI to facilitate review of policies and that was recently acquired by a bigger startup, Bold Penguin; and 2) Jeff Berezny, SVP and general manager of enterprise products at Trov, which provides a digital technology platform for incumbents. The panel was moderated by James Maudslay, global head of insurance at Equinix, which operates a huge network of data centers. (You can watch the entire session here.)

Yoder argued forcefully that much of the focus for innovation is on the wrong issues. He said that the sexy part of what Snapsheet does is the computer vision that can analyze photos of damage in a car crash and use artificial intelligence to provide an estimate of the cost of repairs. But he said computer vision saves only maybe 15 minutes on estimating — in a claims process that can languish for days. He said he can get from a first notice of loss to a settlement in 30 minutes, but the computer vision only works in 1% of the cases. Why not, Yoder asked, focus on the big delays that happen as the insurers for those involved in a crash gather and exchange data, sort out responsibility and get money to clients so they can get their cars repaired?

He said the secret to innovation isn’t to have AI do the estimate. “Al will do,” Yoder said. [Lest his joke doesn’t come across in print: He’s saying that Al, as in someone perhaps named Albert, could do the work that everyone seems to want to assign to artificial intelligence and still allow for considerable innovation.]

“The real issue is all the handoffs,” Yoder said. The solution is to “have the claim be the captain of the process. It’s determining, what can I do myself? It’s assigning tasks to vendors, updating the customer, getting an issue to a person when it needs a person.” At the moment, he said, claims processes are managed “based on massive diaries and to-do lists, which don’t really foster efficient throughput of work. And this is in a piece of the business that is 70% of the cost.”

He said it’s also crucial to focus on all parts of the process, because so many can yield improvement. “We’d do all this work with carriers to speed their claims, then find they were still cutting paper checks,” Yoder said. “It’s like you decide to drink a diet Coke but then order a Big Mac to go with it.”

Berezny agreed that the beginning of the claims process “is just phone tag. Call me back, call me back, call me back….” So, having AI that manages the process, to reduce the administrative load on people, and that speeds the handoffs would matter much more than AI that prepares an estimate.

He said the second wave of insurtech that is taking shape now will be more about “selling picks and shovels” and not about the “gold rush” that is being capped off now with the huge valuations that Lemonade and Root achieved following their initial public offerings.

But he said the incumbents have a lot of work to do to prepare. While being cloud-based and digital are table stakes for being able to innovate these days, Berezny said, “Insurance just isn’t there yet.”

Yoder said incumbents need to develop modular processes, based on application programming interfaces (APIs), so companies can have “plug-and-play innovation.” Are information systems designed so “you can just plug your innovation in, or are you stuck with a new wave of IT integration projects every time” you see an insurtech whose software could improve your business? “Innovation isn’t about a point in time. This is a journey.”

He said the need to be able integrate innovation quickly is all the more important because so much is becoming available. Yoder, who until two years ago ran the insurance practice at PwC, said clients used to need to invent a host of capabilities to be able to pursue a digital strategy. “Now,” he said, “you can just pull together a list of insurtechs with those capabilities, and there you go. You should get there a lot faster and for a lot less money.”

Berezny said he sees the new wave of insurtechs leading to “not just direct but embedded” insurance. As a result, he said Trov is working with mortgage groups to embed home insurance in their sales processes, with new digital banks to offer insurance as part of their portfolios and with affinity groups to include insurance in their dealings with members.

“Insurance needs to meet people where they are,” Berezny said. “You can’t just assume they’ll come to your great, shiny website.”

Yoder agreed that embedded insurance has great promise. “People sometimes look for innovations that are way beyond what anyone ever thought of,” he said, “but sometimes the opportunities for innovation are staring you in the face.”

Cheatham said that, with “the first wave of insurtech coming to an end,” he hears a lot about how AI will supposedly eliminate human jobs. But he said the second wave will be about “augmenting humans, not replacing them.” In commercial insurance, where RiskGenius and Bold Penguin focus, “There are too many nuances for us to think that we’re going to get rid of humans in any part of the process.”

He said that innovation in commercial lines moves more slowly than in personal lines, where Trov and Snapsheet live. But he said, “We’ve shrunk processes from weeks down to days, and we can go so much further. I see a big acceleration going forward.

“We’ll catch up to you other guys soon enough.”

Stay safe.

Paul

P.S. Here are the six articles I’d like to highlight from the past week:

2021: The Great Reset in Insurance

A shift toward greater corporate and social responsibility and empathy in general is underway, and 2021 will bring a great global reset.

Innovating Our Way Out of a Crisis

Any requirement, process, delay or regulatory cost that does not serve insurer solvency or consumer protection should be on the table for retirement.

Ecosystem-Based Business Models

More insurers now see ecosystems as an effective, flexible and capital-efficient way to grow the business and promote customer-centricity.

3 Must-Haves for a Self-Service Portal

A hybrid approach to customer service appears to be the most appropriate strategy, smartly balancing self-service and human support.

Time to Move Climate Risk Center-Stage

Insurers face a steep learning curve in embedding climate risk into their enterprise risk management programs, but the climb will be worth it.

Free Insurance Data You’ll Need

I’ve been building and reviewing business plans for years and come across great free resources to help me along the way. Here they are.

Insurance CEOs Spec Out a Post-COVID World

At the International Insurance Society’s annual forum last week, several CEOs of major insurers said they foresee a very different world post-pandemic — one where trust in insurers not only needs to increase but must take a different form; one where work happens in different places at different times in different organizational structures, all at far greater speeds; one where the challenges increase, but the opportunities do, too.

Amanda Blanc, group CEO at Aviva, said on the opening CEO panel that the “one overriding challenge” she sees is “trust, and the reputation of the industry. I’d say it’s fair to say the industry has had sort of a mixed record over the past six months.”

Others agreed, though Dan Glaser, president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan, added that trust has long been a problem. “It may be at a low now,” he said, “but it wasn’t coming from a high.”

Dean Connor, president and CEO of Sun Life, said he thinks the industry needs to generate a new sort of trust. “100 years ago,” he said, “the question was, If I give you my money, will you be around in 50 years to give it back? So, we expressed our brands as beautiful, big buildings. But now, the question is, What are you doing with my data? We really need to pay attention to client data.”

Glaser said he thought that, broadly speaking, while cybersecurity was something that people “weren’t really talking about a decade ago, it’s the No. 1 risk right now. Imagine what a firm would be like if you couldn’t talk to your employees or your clients…. The idea of a cyber hurricane looms for the entire industry, where you might have multiple events in multiple countries at the same time.”

Gabriele Galateri, chairman of Generali, agreed that cyber has become a huge issue but noted the opportunities that come along with the increased digitalization of the industry. “On the other side,” he said, “the impact of the technology on all our processes and products is just extraordinary — the way we can be more flexibility and creative and make our products much more personalized.”

Connor said he’s seen a “step change in productivity that’s not going to go away,” as well as an acceleration in decision making. He said that, back in the spring, Sun Life went right to market with a product that in the past would have first involved extensive back-and-forth with brokers. “Instead, we just put it out there, and, boom, 500,000 Canadians signed up for health care.” He said he wants that sort of speed to continue.

At Generali, Galateri said, he couldn’t believe how fast the company could go digital. He said he’s seen in weeks or months the kind of progress that could have taken five to 10 years, though he said that “reskilling” and “upskilling” remain big challenges and that structural changes to the business will be needed to take full advantage of digitalization.

At Aviva, Blanc said she’s spending a lot of time thinking about how to design the workplace of the future, how to design a collaborative work space that fosters the right culture. “The workplace of the future will be very different than the workplace of the past,” she said. For the moment, she added, “while people used to talk about working from home, now they may say they’re living at work.”

Whatever results, Connor said, will involve a flatter organization structure, because of what businesses have learned during work-from-home during the pandemic. “COVID has flattened organizations,” he said. “CEOs don’t just talk to their leadership team. They can talk to everyone.” The question, he said, is: “How do we use this time as an accelerant?”

The panelists singled out low interest rates, now cemented in place by the economic crisis that the pandemic has caused, as a hurdle for the industry. Any company that depends heavily on returns on investments will find those hard to come by, perhaps for years, and will have to be much more accurate in its underwriting.

But Connor said, “You could also flip that around and say there’s an opportunity. How do you construct a retirement plan” when interest rates are so low? Companies that can help clients do that will win, he said. He added that COVID has heightened awareness of health and mortality. “Our clients need what we do,” he said.

He’s broadly optimistic, too, about how 2020, as crazy as it’s been, could help produce needed social change, such as on racial inequality, and sees a role for the insurance industry.

“Look at all the change that can happen in just a generation or two,” he said. “Think of smoking cessation, drinking and driving, all the millions in Asia who’ve been pulled out of poverty and into the middle class. The Me Too movement has had a profound effect.

Glaser said that “maybe a silver lining of COVID is that while we are all at home watching our screens, some things that happened in the world were unavoidable.” He cited the killing of George Floyd by a police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as an event that made him rethink assumptions about “inequality in general, about health outcomes, about access to education. People, me included, are used to the idea of unequal outcomes in a capitalist world. What’s clearer now is the extent of the unequal opportunities.”

The panelists committed to doing their part through hiring and training to reduce inequities, as they prepare for a post-pandemic world where they have to forge new types of trust relationships with clients, where the work environment will be different and where the challenges and opportunities will change.

“There’s more to be optimistic about than to worry about,” Glaser said.

Or, as Blanc put it: “I think the insurance industry is incredibly adaptable, and I look forward to seeing what we can do.”

Stay safe.

Paul

P.S. To watch the video of the CEO panel or to learn more about the forum, you can check out the IIS site here.

P.P.S. Here are the six articles I’d like to highlight from the past week:

Future of Insurance: Hyper-Personal

Protection products will increasingly have to be dynamic, meeting the needs of each individual as preferences and life circumstances change.

How COVID Alters Claims Patterns

Claims in some lines, such as entertainment insurance, have surged, while traditional property and liability claims have been subdued.

3 Silver Linings From COVID-19

Insurance is positioned to thrive in the virtual world as the need for large processing claims centers and customer service hubs vanishes.

How to Unlock a ‘Customer 360’ View

Why do so many insurance companies fail to deliver on their customer-centric objectives? It almost always boils down to inaccurate data.

How to Engage Better on Auto Insurance

Believe it or not, your policyholders would like to hear from you more often―and communication can affect policyholder loyalty.

Keys to Limiting Litigation Liability

Risks associated with GL and AU claims can be managed, even with “social inflation,” “nuclear verdicts” and tough jurisdictions.

How to Seize the Opportunities in 2016

This keynote address was delivered to the EY/Insurance Insider’s Global Re/Insurance Outlook conference at the Hamilton Princess Hotel in Bermuda.

It’s a pleasure to be here this morning. I appreciate being invited to offer some thoughts on the state of our industry and where we seem to be headed.

If you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, I’m going to look back at 2015 before I look forward to 2016. It feels like the right thing to do, given the year we’ve had.

I don’t know about all of you, but for me 2015 has come and gone in the blink of an eye.

And what a year it’s been.

You could invoke Dickens and say: It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

This was the year that a youthful head of state swept into office in Canada on a promise of “sunny ways” – and it was the year that terror ripped through a nightclub in Paris, and a Christmas party in San Bernardino, CA, shattering our personal sense of security.

It was the year that the pope declared a Holy Year of Mercy, and it was the year that more than a million refugees streamed out of the Middle East and into Europe, in a desperate attempt to escape a jihadist war.

It was the year that almost 200 nations signed a landmark agreement to address climate change, and it was the year that another once-in-100-year flood lashed northern England for the second time in less than 10 years.

It was the year that the concept of “the singularity” – when human computing is overtaken by machines – became a distinct possibility.

It was also a year when driverless cars, packages delivered by drone and 3D printing became tangible realities.

Here in Bermuda, 2015 was the year that signaled the demise of a brand name close to my heart – that would be ACE – as M&A fever reshaped the island’s market landscape. It was also the year that the Bermuda Monetary Authority pulled off a coup – seven years in the making – by getting the European Commission to grant us Solvency II equivalence.

2015 was the year when Millennials – the generation born between the late ’80s and the turn of this century – became the largest demographic ever. Think about it. More than half the world is now under the age of 30.

And it was the year when we truly began to exit a world driven by an analog mindset and woke up to the fact that we’re living in a digital age. Labels like digital immigrants and digital natives were used to describe two of the four generations now making up our labor force.

I was invited to speak at a number of different venues this year, and, at each, I tried to describe this sense of being between two worlds.

I’d like to share some of the highlights with you, as I think these issues are going to be key to transforming our industry.

The first speech I gave this year was called “Risk in 140 Characters.”

I was speaking to a group of Millennials in London, and I used Twitter as an example of stripping out inefficiencies to get to the core of a business model. I challenged them to figure out how we can leverage technology to make our industry more efficient.

I also challenged them to spread the word about the industry to their peers. Millennials don’t think much of insurance as a career. With 400,000 positions opening up in five years in the U.S., this lack of interest is creating a talent crisis.

The next speech was “Can We Disrupt Ourselves?”

I spoke to the International Insurance Society in New York a few weeks after I spoke to the Millennials in London, and described some of the game-changing forces our industry is facing – driven by disruptive technology.

I challenged this group – who represent executive management – to figure out how to attract a new generation to our industry, AND to figure out how to work with them. The solution to our disruption will come from the digital natives among us.

Then there was “Where Are the Women? One Year Later.”

In 2014, I gave a speech called “Where Are the Women?” I asked why there aren’t more women in the C-suites and boardrooms of the insurance industry.

This year, I looked at whether much has changed in a year – the answer is no – and what might be done.

The short answer is that people like me – the white males who dominate our industry – need to make gender parity and diversity a priority, and mean it.

A speech I gave to St. John’s University’s School of Risk Management was called “The Canary in the Coal Mine.”

St. John’s organized a day-long conference on issues facing the industry. I talked about M&A, alternative capital and the changing roles of brokers, cedants and reinsurers.

I also addressed the talent crisis, making the point that Millennials are the canaries in the coal mine.

If we don’t pay attention to what they’re telling us about our workplaces and work policies – and this includes our attitude toward diversity and inclusion – they’re going to continue to snub our industry. And we can’t afford to let that happen. Not only are they our future workforce, they’re our current and future customers.

An address to 400 top producers of a brokerage firm was called “Do You Know How to Think Like a Unicorn?”

In Silicon Valley, companies backed by a $1 billion or more in capital are called unicorns, and those backed by more than $10 billion are called “decacorns.” There are more companies with this level of capitalization now than at any other time.

And remember, most of these are tech start-ups, many of which are behind the disruption that’s transforming our world.

I told the brokers that, in the digital world, they need to know their clients’ business, and their clients’ risks, better than the CEO does.

There’s currency in knowing how to interpret data, and brokers have a great opportunity to develop specialized skills that they can monetize.

That’s where the real value-add is.

According to a recent study by IBM, C-suite executives around the world are kept awake at night worrying about being ambushed by so-called digital invaders.

More than 5,000 executives participated in the IBM study. More than half of them told researchers that, above all else, they fear being “Uberized” – blindsided by a competitor outside their industry wielding disruptive technology.

While loss activity, interest rates and pressure on terms and conditions will always affect underwriting and financial performance, it’s now a given that technology and talent will determine who will succeed and who will fail.

So, I asked the brokers: do you know how to think like a unicorn?

I was told later that this firm is now describing itself as a technology company whose product is insurance – so I guess they took my suggestions to heart.

So this year, I focused on five main themes:

  • We still have rampant inefficiency in the way much of our business is conducted.
  • We’re threatened by technological disruption.
  • We have unprecedented risks for which there are no actuarial data.
  • The roles we play are being reinvented in real time.
  • And we have a looming talent crisis.

Not a pretty picture, and not for the faint of heart.

But what scope for innovation!

I really do believe this is one of the most exciting times to be working in this industry in the 40 years since I joined it.

We enter 2016 with the hope that terms and conditions will improve, and the expectation that industry consolidation will continue.

[The recent increase] in interest rates could mean that our capital may take a hit, but we’re likely to earn greater investment income over time, leading to increased revenue.

But these are the traditional hallmarks of a market cycle. This is the easy stuff.

There’s nothing easy or traditional about what’s facing our industry right now. Those of us who cling to the old way of doing business aren’t going to make it.

It’s the manner in which we navigate from the analog to the digital – how we move between two worlds – that will set our future course. This is going to take bold, courageous moves, some leaps of faith and a willingness to fail as often as we succeed.

I think it’s telling that [in November] about 200 industry representatives and entrepreneurs gathered in Silicon Valley to figure out how to change the traditional insurance model.

They felt we need to flip the value proposition from protection to prevention, using data analytics to define the characteristics of a risk and identify how to avoid it.

A report on this conference described it this way:

“One of the biggest challenges for successful executive teams is to reframe a company’s purpose away from its past greatness, and toward a different future.”

We’ve been an industry where past is prologue. But for many of the risks we’re facing, there is no past.

It really shouldn’t matter. We’re awash in data, but data pure and simple isn’t the point.

We need to harness data to predict the future – in other words, adopt the prevention mindset.

The issue isn’t simply gathering massive quantities of data. We need to take the data we have and know how to ask the right questions, and refine the right algorithms, to get the analysis we need to provide our products quickly and efficiently to a world doing business on smart phones.

To create the best risk solutions, we need to redefine the relationships we have with each other and build new organizational ecosystems. This is no time for staying in our traditional comfort zone.

And as an industry whose purpose is to secure the future, we have a collective obligation to address the massive protection gap between the developed and emerging economies.

In 2014, there were an estimated $1.7 trillion in losses. $1.3 trillion of that number was uninsured.

With collaborative undertakings like Blue Marble, the microinsurance consortium that was launched this year, we can begin to close this gap. This not only helps prevent disaster for the underserved, it helps build a sustainable planet.

I know we can figure out how to re-create our workplaces, finding ways to meld the experience and traditional perspective of Baby Boomers like me with the open, diverse, purpose-driven focus of Millennials.

This might be one of our greatest challenges, because it aims straight at the heart of our industry’s old-school DNA.

By the way, I like that Millennials are purpose-driven – because what industry can more rightfully lay claim to purpose than insurance?

As I said in one of my earlier speeches, insurance should be catnip to a Millennial.

Several of us are banking on that being true by supporting an awareness program to let the younger generation know that this is a great career choice.

I’ve been joined by Marsh’s Dan Glaser and Lloyd’s Inga Beale in signing a letter urging our fellow CEOs to put their companies’ weight behind this initiative.

The first phase of this plan is an Insurance Careers Month that will be launched in February 2016. This is primarily a U.S.-based project because that’s where the urgent need is, but other markets will be participating, too. We were aiming to enlist the support of at least 200 carriers, brokers, agents and industry partners – and at last count we had almost 260 signed up. The response has been great.

So, in closing:

It HAS been quite a year.

The way we live and work is changing faster than I think any of us thought possible. We have some amazing challenges and opportunities ahead of us – here in Bermuda, and in the countries where many of us do business.

I’m excited about where we’re going and how we’ll get there, and I hope you are, too.

I believe it’s the best of times.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a great morning of provocative thought and discussion, and I wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.

How Insurance Helps End Hunger, Poverty

These remarks were delivered at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015.

Good afternoon, excellencies, ministers, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Mike Morrissey, and I’m president and CEO of the International Insurance Society. We are a nonprofit research and idea exchange organization representing life and non-life insurers, as well as regulators and risk management scholars, from nearly 100 countries.

Professor Shawn Cole of Harvard, a world-leading expert in development economics, has said, “Risk is one of the greatest challenges faced by poor people around the world.”

This can be seen as the risk of flood, earthquake, hurricane or cyclone. It can also be experienced as crop failure, livestock mortality, illness or death of a family member or in food or water security. The ability to manage and finance risk is therefore a key element in the development of societies, and thus in alleviating poverty and hunger.

The insurance industry has played a key role in this effort by expanding access to risk protection and risk management advice, for centuries in the developed world, and now very broadly in Sub Saharan Africa, South Asia, Latin America and in other less-developed areas. With nearly one billion people living on about one U.S. dollar a day, this form of social protection is vital, since the poor are often those most exposed, just one loss event away from calamity for themselves, their families and their possessions.

At the UN Insurance Sector Summit, which took place at the ECOSOC Chamber here last June, I sat next to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as he complimented the insurance industry for its vital role in mitigating and reducing risk and thereby raising living standards where help is needed most. But he also called for the industry to do more in the future, and so the industry continues to innovate in ways that offer more protection for more people, and makes a major contribution to reducing poverty and hunger.

A few examples are worthwhile to make the insurance industry’s role clear.

German Insurer Allianz is a world leader in microinsurance, the protection of low-income people. Allianz provides crop, livestock and other coverage for 125 million farmers in India and China, and participates in the Africa Risk Capacity pool to insure governments against natural catastrophes. Peruvian insurer La Positiva has tailored agricultural coverage for rural farmers who have limited access to communications and healthcare. A new Bermuda-based venture called Blue Marble Microinsurance has developed savings and protection products, among them some linked to poor women’s key life-cycle triggers.

These efforts, and many more like them, link the worlds of finance and development, expanding access to protection from the unique set of risks faced by the world’s poor. Through our industry’s efforts, and through public private partnerships with governments and international institutions to capitalize on both the risk assessment and long-term investing capabilities of insurance organizations, the sustainable development goals of ending extreme poverty and hunger can and will be achieved.