Island’s re/insurers open for global business

  • John Huff, Abir CEO

    John Huff, Abir CEO

  • Konrad Rentrup, CEO of the Bermuda operation of new Abir member Hannover Re (Photograph supplied)

    Konrad Rentrup, CEO of the Bermuda operation of new Abir member Hannover Re (Photograph supplied)

A body representing Bermuda’s leading international re/insurers has held its first virtual board meeting last month and has signalled that the market remains open for global business during the coronavirus crisis.

Members of the Association of Bermuda International Insurers and Reinsurers “are meeting clients’ needs globally and demonstrating robust ‘operational resilience’ during the Covid-19 pandemic”, Abir said in a statement today.

More than 50 executives of Abir member companies, as well as guest presenters including government and regulatory officials, participated in the group’s web-enabled first-quarter board meeting on March 18.

Albert Benchimol, chief executive officer of Axis Capital and chairman of Abir, said: “Abir companies have quickly transitioned to remote working protocols in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The industry’s rapid response demonstrates that technology is enabling business continuity in Bermuda — as it does around the world.

“The way we are conducting business is becoming a ‘table stakes’ approach. Moving to a remote working protocol, based on global and local best practices and guidance, has been seamless across Abir member companies.”

Mr Benchimol added: “Of all industries, the data-rich re/insurance sector understands the statistical effectiveness of ‘flattening the curve’.

“Our industry has been quick to initiate remote working protocols that support the leading medical advice in controlling the spread of the virus. Remote work reinforces the wisdom of social distancing, which is critical for Bermuda right now.”

The safety and wellbeing of Abir team members, clients, stakeholders and the Bermuda community is the number-one priority, he added. Abir members have enacted precautionary policies to reduce or eliminate non-essential travel and adopted new health and safety policies for staff, who have returned from travelling.

Abir member companies continue to be open for business, just with less physical interaction with clients, stakeholders, vendors and other partners. April 1 renewals have been completed successfully, and companies are now looking ahead to the next renewal period in June.

“The re/insurance industry excels in time of disruption and catastrophes — managing risk during natural and man-made disasters is our strength,” said John Huff, CEO of Abir, noting the Bermuda market is well capitalised and works closely with regulators and policymakers globally on the economic potential of any significant events.

“The industry has a proven track record of responding successfully during critical moments in history and we will continue to do so as the world faces and recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Abir has also welcomed Hannover Re and Awbury Insurance as new members. Hannover Re is world’s third-largest reinsurer and is led in Bermuda by CEO Konrad Rentrup. Awbury Insurance is a Bermuda-domiciled specialist financial lines and economic catastrophe insurance company, led by president David Ensor.

Abir members operate in more than 150 countries. The Bermuda market contributes more than 35 per cent of the global reinsurance market based on property/casualty net premiums earned, Mr Huff said.

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Published Apr 9, 2020 at 2:43 pm (Updated Apr 9, 2020 at 2:48 pm)

Island’s re/insurers open for global business

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