China’s Belt and Road Initiative could kick-start ILS in Asia

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The countries of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are largely unsupported by insurance and would benefit from the introduction of insurance-linked securities (ILS) into the region, according to Kirill Savrassov, chief executive of Phoenix CRetro.

Speaking in an Intelligent Insurer Re/insurance Lounge webinar titled “New domiciles, new risks, new structures: another evolution for ILS”, which took place ahead of SIRC 2020 Re-Mind, Savrassov highlighted how a cat event in one of those countries could cause wider repercussions for the delivery of the BRI.

“Those countries are receiving billions and billions of investment into their transport and critical infrastructure but remain uninsured and uncovered for large natural disasters,” he said.

TURKEY: significant material losses expected after the October 30th earthquake in the Aegean area

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A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Friday in the Aegean Sea between the Turkish coast and the Greek island of Samos, killing at least 91 people and injuring over 1,000 amid collapsed buildings and flooding, according to the latest official data available. The quake also made a couple of victims, and injured 19 people, in addition to the material damages.

The quake was felt across the eastern Greek islands, but also much further, in Athens and Bulgaria. In Turkey, it shook the regions of Aegean and Marmara. Although citizens of Istanbul have also felt the seismic wave, no damages were reported in the city.

ILS increasingly attractive in the face of COVID-19

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As an asset class that is uncorrelated with financial markets, provides environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) advantages and offers good returns in the current low interest environment, insurance-linked securities (ILS) are becoming increasingly attractive, Kirill Savrassov, an ILS and sovereign risk transfer specialist, told Baden-Baden Today.

ILS activity is gaining momentum because COVID-19 has highlighted the benefits of investing in an asset class that is uncorrelated with financial markets, said Savrassov.

“Another important point is that uncorrelation, together with current price increases in the reinsurance market, is making this asset class not only attractive but also reasonably priced, with good returns,” he said.

Governments and institutions bet big on CAT bonds

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There is something magical about the word bonds as it is closely linked with all facets of our life. But in the world of business, bonds are financial instruments that are used by governments and institutions to tide over funding difficulties in times of stress. And at no other time has it been more pronounced than at this juncture when businesses all over the world are reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

My interest in the topic was aroused when my old friend T.B.Nair, an independent analyst in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru, told me about how catastrophe bonds are gaining ground in the global marketplace. Nair told me that catastrophe bonds or CAT bonds are now becoming the instrument of choice for several countries to insure big transnational infrastructure projects from natural disasters. He even went on to suggest that CAT bonds would have been of great help for India to overcome the economic hardships arising from cyclones, floods etc.

Parametrics to grow in areas where indemnity models struggle: panellists

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While parametric insurance will never replace indemnity structures, they are expected to be leveraged more widely in areas where indemnity models struggle to provide adequate solutions, according to Richard Chattock, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at London-headquartered, Insurtech Gateway.

On the final day of the virtually held ILS Bermuda Convergence 2020 conference, attendees heard from a panel of insurance-focused venture investors from across the re/insurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) markets.

Moderated by Hanni Ali, SVP, Strategic Partnerships at Hamilton Insurance Group, the panel included Chattock, alongside Lyndsey Toeppen, formerly Sandbox Insurtech Ventures; Adrian Jones, Deputy CEO, P&C Partners, Ventures & Strategic Partnerships, SCOR; and George Alayon, Assistant Director, Supervision (Insurance), Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA).

The BRI and the need for its transit infrastructure protection against natural disasters

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Countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe that have been recipients of Chinese investment via projects associated with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) should use parametric sovereign cat bonds to insure themselves against the risk of natural disasters.

Belt and Road Initiative has created an even greater need for comprehensive protection solutions across Central Asia and Eastern Europe as China has spent tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure across the region but practically none of it is properly insured against physical damage, despite the region being at high risk of natural disasters with earthquakes in particular.

In countries such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan or Tajikistan it is not a question of if an earthquake will hit, but when—and how devastating it will be. In Western Balkans that is prone to earthquakes itself there is an additional threat of massive floods as climate change consequences.

La BRI et la protection des infrastructures contre les désastres naturels

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Les pays d’Asie centrale et d’Europe de l’Est qui reçoivent des investissements chinois dans le cadre de l’initiative « Belt and Road » (BRI) pourraient être intéressés par l’utilisation d’obligations souveraines paramétriques pour se prémunir contre les risques de catastrophes naturelles.

L’initiative « Belt and Road » a créé un besoin important de solutions de protection complète en Asie centrale et en Europe de l’Est, car la Chine a investi des dizaines de milliards de dollars en infrastructures dans ces régions, mais la plupart de ces projets ne sont pas correctement assurés contre de possibles dommages, bien que  ces régions présentent des risques de catastrophes naturelles en particulier des tremblements de terre.

Dans des pays comme l’Ouzbékistan, le Kazakhstan ou le Tadjikistan, il ne s’agit pas de savoir si un tremblement de terre va se produire, mais quand et à quelle intensité il se produira. Les Balkans occidentaux qui sont eux-mêmes sujets aux tremblements de terre, sont aussi sous la menace d’inondations massives en raison du changement climatique.

Academics call on re/insurers to abandon cat models relying on historical data: Convergence 2020

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A panel of academics at ILS Bermuda’s Convergence 2020 conference has slammed the re/insurance industry’s catastrophe prediction models as not fit for purpose.

Cat models that use historical inputs are based on “short and incomplete” data that would be misleading, even if the data were comprehensive, because of the impact of climate change, said Professor Kerry Emanuel, professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Speaking on a panel titled The Effects of Climate Change on Wind, Flood & the Earthquake Zombie Hypothesis, that was chaired by Samantha Medlock, a senior counsel who sits on the Climate Crisis Select Committee for the US House of Representatives, Emanuel argued that climate data was only reliable going back as far as the 1970s.