Today is one of the busier days at the conference as we have concurrent workshops in the morning and afternoon, with the Policy Forum workshop in the middle – phew! Where to go to first? If only we could have a clone of ourselves then it would make it far easier.
The IUMI annual conference is well under way! Isabelle Therrien, CBMU President, and Peter Hohman, President and CEO of the Insurance Institute of Canada welcomed us full heartedly and gave respectively great presentations on Toronto and the history of marine insurance here. We also now know that the correct pronunciation of Toronto is ‘Toronno’.
It’s that time of the year again and the puck has been dropped for IUMI’s annual conference in Toronto, Canada. Today is the first official day of the renowned event and the Fairmont Royal York Hotel – this year’s beautiful venue - is filled with marine insurers from all over the world. Coincidentally Toronto is also hosting its annual film festival so you might just see George Clooney or Jennifer Lopez across the bar.
It was September 2011. My first visit to Paris and to the IUMI annual conference. I had heard about this “largest gathering of marine underwriters on earth” and was looking forward to taking part one day.
Information is key to good decision making and effective underwriting. We can only identify, assess and price risk if we completely understand our environment, its activities and, importantly, its history. Whilst investment companies continue to recite “past performance is no guarantee of future results”, for underwriters, having a firm handle on past performance is a key ingredient to assessing future risk.
The first days of 2019 have started with a series of tragic and severe shipping incidents: Oil tanker Aulac Fortune caught fire off Hong Kong after an explosion, freighter Volgo Balt sank off the Turkish coast in heavy weather, six crew members were abducted from the container ship MSC Mandy off Benin, container ship Yantian Express is burning far off the east Canadian coast, MSC Zoe lost nearly 300 containers in rough weather in the North Sea. Anything but a smooth start to the New Year!
Container ship fires are a real concern for marine insurance and the shipping industry as a whole. Major fires on container vessels, such as the Maersk Honam this year, the CCIN Arauco or the Maersk Karachi in 2015 show the helplessness and vulnerability of the crew onboard and fire fighters ashore.