Update on the major claims database

By Dave Matcham, Chief Executive, International Underwriting Association

The Major Claims Database project made significant progress during 2019. Thanks to the considerable help from many member associations, we were able to collect more data, from more associations with greater accuracy and substance. The next phase of the project will be key to refine further the data and obtain the engagement of the remaining three large markets.

As a reminder, we ran a proof of concept during 2018, receiving over 1200 hull and cargo claims records from six associations. The initial indications were positive and allowed us to move to a wider dataset and better data usability.

The first phase allowed us to refine the template and invite all associations to take part. We were delighted to receive data from 19 markets. This gave us about 4600 observations covering 2013-2018 loss years. The amount of claims paid was USD $7.3bn and 12 data fields provided statistically important information. These numbers indicated a strong level of participation however the scope still reflects only a part of the overall worldwide losses.

We still face data inconsistencies across countries especially for “type of loss” and “location of loss”. These are not insurmountable. In addition, it is imperative to receive the IMO vessel number, which is not always the case currently.

In Toronto, the committee analysed closely the data and possible statistical analysis. We thank Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) for their considerable input and effort in preparing the materials for the committee. The committee felt that we needed to study further the optimal method to gather data, engage all markets and produce statistically useful data for marine underwriters. To this effect, a working group of the committee will meet in December and regularly thereafter to address these issues.

We clearly have a momentum of interest from the membership and expect more associations to join the project next year. We look forward to running the data gathering exercise during 2020 and to a positive engagement from all the key markets.