Message from the President

By Dieter Berg, IUMI President

As the year draws to a close I would like to reflect on the significant steps IUMI has taken these past 12 months and the plans for the coming year.

I am delighted to report that the annual conference in Genova was a huge success, thanks to our great speakers, hard-working Technical Committees and the fantastic organisation of the Italian Insurance Association (ANIA) and the IUMI Secretariat.

Genova’s historic marine landscape was the perfect backdrop for this year’s conference. More than 600 leading marine insurers and experts from all over the world came together to examine the issues under the theme “Effective underwriting in a changing environment”. Highlights and key findings from the conference included:

  • The global marine insurance report highlighting the challenges to cope with a fragile economic environment in a soft insurance market cycle and sluggish trade growth expectations;
  • Growing concern over the increasing number of large marine losses aggregating with property or other losses and their potential to put severe financial strain on insurance companies;
  • The increasing technological challenges faced by our industry due to complex risk, new technologies and digitalisation; - Depressed oil prices impacting the risk management approach of the oil industry and increasing pressure on the offshore energy insurance market;
  • The Tianjin disaster - the largest cargo loss ever recorded, highlighting needs of accumulation control and enhanced modelling.

This year also marked the implementation of IUMI’s new communication strategy. We have worked hard throughout the year to raise public awareness of the excellent work of the Technical Committees. Our aim for IUMI to be the voice of the global marine insurance industry has powered ahead in leaps and bounds with increased presence in the media and through active participation in conferences and other events.

Our education programme, launched in early 2015, has developed quickly. IUMI has hosted a series of webinars since June 2016 covering topical issues such as “2016 York Antwerp Rules”, “SOLAS regulation for the verification of the weight of containers”, “Hanjin Shipping Insolvency – an update”, to name a few. The Executive Committee established a new IUMI Education Forum in May to develop a programme that matches the demands and content required by the market.

Finally, one of our most significant successes this year was the establishment of an IUMI overseas hub in Asia. We opened a new office in Hong Kong in October, with the strong support of the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI), to work more closely with our colleagues in Asia. It is vital for IUMI to strengthen its presence in the growth markets of Asia. Global trade in this region continues to expand and we must ensure that IUMI remains relevant and of service to this very important region.

These exciting new initiatives have paved the way for what looks to be a very interesting and busy 2017. Happy holidays, and I look forward to working with you in the coming year.

Dieter Berg, IUMI President