Rapallo, 29 October 2018: catastrophic events and cumulative risks

By Margaret Zaccaria, Hull, Yacht and Yard Underwriter at SATEC GROUP and member of the IUMI Inland Hull, Fishing Vessels & Yachts Committee

A number of extreme weather events in the world are having a significant impact on our industry which is changing and suffering. On 29 October 2018, following heavy rain and powerful winds up to 120 km/h, the Carlo Riva Marina in Rapallo was destroyed. This storm was the strongest ever observed on the coasts of Italy in terms of maximum sustained winds and it generated waves up to 10 metres high.

In the marina 390 yachts of all sizes were berthed. Superyachts, motorboats and sailboats of all sizes were damaged and several were a total loss.

Insurers must look at the total risk exposure to be sustainable. What if insurers, at the time of the first storm warning, were aware of the total number of yachts with full exposure berthed in the Rapallo marina? Just imagine how many actions could have been taken to protect insurers (and yacht owners) interests thanks to new technologies?

For example, blockchain technology has potential to transform this process with automation in the shipping and marine insurance industry. It can change the face of shipping and the way we do business. These new technologies enable insurers to track yachts at all times; allowing a clearer picture of the total geographical exposure. Access to real-time data could assist insurers to set up proper insurance and reinsurance measures to minimise possible financial impacts due to catastrophic events.

Indeed, new technologies are ready to assist insurers and need to be seriously considered in coming years, despite the investment they usually require. With the weather dramatically changing, there is increasing unpredictability including in the Mediterranean area, and insurers should take action to manage these events.