Q&A with Xavier Pazmiño

By Xavier Pazmiño, current President of the Board of ALSUM and Vice President Marine LatAm ar Chubb

In a nutshell, how would you describe the main role of ALSUM (the Latin American Association of Marine Underwriters)?

The main role of ALSUM is to promote, facilitate and motivate the dissemination of knowledge, expertise and best practice within the marine insurance industry in Latin America, while new trends, technologies and developments continue to reshape the landscape constantly for all parties related to international and domestic trade.

What is the biggest challenge facing ALSUM today?

Worldwide, associations are in crisis as their members require fast evolution, and sometimes the natural structure of such entities slow down the processes and outcomes that are expected. Nowadays, ALSUM is recognised as the main organisation in which all companies related to marine insurance can find training, networking opportunities and relevant information. However, ALSUM recognises that social media and new technologies demand innovative ways to interact with our associates and members. This is not just about offering services, but also going further and developing efficient and updated "pills" of information and data that can be digested and used on a daily basis by busy people with little, if no time at all, to look for it.

 How does the ALSUM and IUMI work together?

IUMI consolidates a worldwide interest in the marine insurance industry and ALSUM works with IUMI to present a consolidated view of Latin America and its input and challenges in global trade.

Is there anything you would like to see underwriters do differently or better?

Underwriters have always had an interesting challenge: to accept risks within certain conditions that are relevant for the insured and at the same time be profitable for the insurers. In doing this they must ensure that risk exposures are well modelled, measured, well understood and not beyond capacity, guidelines and regulations. We would like to see underwriters take these decisions based on the most updated, relevant and efficient data; accessing large databases, analysing individual risks versus statistics, trends and developments of similar risks locally, regionally and worldwide; as well as having more time to dedicate to product development.   

Do you have a view on the current state of the marine insurance market?

The state of marine insurance market varies within regions and segments, but undoubtedly the prolonged soft-market state has taken its toll on many carriers causing a reduction in insurance capacity and coverage. Some regions/products are entering a hard market faster than others, but all are at the same stage in the insurance cycle.  

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in the shipping industry what would it be?

It would be a change to reach the highest level possible of safety. Unfortunately we are seeing more frequent and severe casualties than ever, resulting in very expensive losses and more importantly the tragic loss of lives in these events.    

If you were not in your current role what would be your ideal job?

I believe that the ideal job is where we can contribute, whether small changes or large market changing actions, to improve a policy, a product, a segment or the industry to be better for all parties, clients and providers.  

What do you like doing when not working?

I enjoy being outdoors, boating, hiking and just trying to stay in touch with nature as much as possible.