The large loss database – the voyage begins

By Dave Matcham, Chief Executive, IUA (The International Underwriting Association) and member of the IUMI Facts & Figures Committee

The range of statistics produced by the Facts & Figures Committee continues to broaden and improve. Marine premiums for 2017 are estimated at USD 28.5bn, of which hull sits at USD 6.9bn and cargo at USD 16.1bn. The missing piece of this jigsaw is claims data. After proving the concept of a global large loss database, this should no longer be the case. 


With the tremendous assistance from Belgium, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden and Singapore, around 1200 claims records, each exceeding USD 250,000 or USD 500,000, were supplied to and analysed by IUMI professional partner Boston Consulting Group.


The initial results were presented in Cape Town, and so the voyage begins and the pilot exercise will become a live annual workstream for IUMI from 2019.


In the months leading up to Toronto 2019, a number of enhancements will take place.  Most importantly we will widen the network of contributors to include as many IUMI member associations as possible. Secondly, the data template will be expanded in consultation with the original six associations and wider member consultation. The new template will be ready by January 2019 and sent to all associations, each of whom will be contacted for feedback.


I truly believe that this work presents IUMI with a unique database of large losses that will give a global insight into hull and cargo claims. Marine underwriters will not find this level of information so easily elsewhere. The potential for the database, especially in cargo insurance, whose premium shares emanate from every IUMI member association, is huge and valuable to the membership.