This is the first IUMI Eye to be published after the recent conference in Toronto and I hope that, like me, those of you who were able to attend found the event to be informative and thought-provoking. We were exceptionally well looked after by our hosts in Canada and our thanks once again go to the Canadian Organising Committee for everything they did to make the conference such a success.
The turn of a year is always a good moment to reflect on what has happened and what has been achieved, and to think ahead to a fresh chapter.
We started the year with the Winter Meeting in London, and it was here that we finalised our key priorities for the organisation. We can report encouraging progress under each heading:
Membership has grown and we welcomed Russia and Myanmar under the newly formed Associate membership category. IUMI also cemented its longstanding collaboration with ALSUM (the Marine insurance association for Latin America) by welcoming them as an Affiliate member.
The Education Forum launched its second online tutorial (hull) to match the inaugural one (on cargo) released in 2018. Sales of the two tutorials have been really encouraging, and we are now close to securing our 100th student for the courses. Take-up of the tutorials has also been widespread across many countries.
Data and digitalisation
IUMI published its first Stats Report (which is freely available in the public area of our website) in March 2019.
The Data and Digitalisation Working Group (chaired by Patrizia Kern) provided the material for the President’s Workshop at our Toronto conference, presenting on the topic of how marine underwriting will be impacted in a more digital era. I am happy to announce that the IUMI Executive Committee has supported the upgrading of the Data and Digitalisation group to become a full IUMI Forum (sitting alongside our other Forum committees – Policy, Education and Salvage).
The Policy Forum (chaired by Helle Hammer) continued to take a very active role, and just a few weeks ago, published our updated position paper on containership fires.
The Policy Forum’s Agenda contains a rich variety of topics and challenges in the industry, ranging from cyber to cargo theft to fuel guidelines on ships.
Looking ahead to 2020
I’ve indicated several times before that the priorities set out above represent an evolution of the organisation’s strategy. They work for us as short-term points of focus, but more specifically, they are relevant and central to IUMI’s longstanding mission and purpose. Therefore, these priorities will be ones that sustain us for a much longer period.
During our recent Toronto conference, we additionally started to turn more attention to the subject of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) matters. Several conference speakers – notably Butch Bacani (Programme Leader of the UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative) - spoke to aspects of this theme, which is becoming a stronger and stronger movement in the non-life insurance industry.
In turn, the Executive Committee has agreed that we should take time to consult our membership on ESG matters and we will shortly be contacting member associations to consult on the future approach that IUMI should take. There will no doubt be more to say on this topic shortly.
In the meantime, let me take this opportunity to wish all readers of IUMI Eye my best wishes for a happy and successful New Year.