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Growth opportunities seen in Island’s re/insurance sector

A willingness to grow in new lines of business will help to ensure the future success of the Island's re/insurance sector.

This was a key theme that emerged at the Bermuda Insurance Institute's third annual Bermuda Insurance Market Conference.

Organisers were especially pleased to have a customer panel this year involving two long-time Bermuda insurance risk management customers, Gus Napoli from Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc and Erica McNabb from NextEra Energy, Inc.

This was reinforced by conference co-ordinator Rochelle Simons who said: “It's incredibly valuable for us as a market to get direct and unvarnished feedback from our customers as to where the Bermuda insurance market is delivering and where it needs to up its game.”

The BII said the client panel identified that the Bermuda insurance market scored high marks for the level of professionalism of the underwriting and broking community and the welcoming nature of the market for clients but needed to ensure that it did not sit on its laurels and its past success going forward. “Product innovation and a willingness to grow in new lines of business in addition to the long standing core lines of Excess Liability, Property and Directors & Officers' insurance emerged as a key theme from both our client panel but also a number of the other discussion panels,” added Ms Simons.

BII and conference chairman Chris Fisher noted: “Particularly popular this year were the cyber liability panel and the employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) /wage and hour panel.”

He went on to mention that participants in these panels included recognised market leaders from the United States such as Robert A Parisi, Jr who is managing director and National practice leader for Marsh's Technology, Network Risk & Telecommunications in New York, Tom Hams, managing director and National EPLI Practice leader for Aon in Chicago and Dr Phil Norton, vice chairman Midwest Region for Arthur J Gallagher Risk Management Services.

“These really are big hitters in their respective market disciplines,” said Mr Fisher. “We were delighted to get panel participants of their calibre and expertise and it is exciting to hear them identify new market opportunities for Bermuda insurers in both the excess of loss cyber risk space and also EPL and wage and hour coverage”.

Conference attendees heard that while Bermuda's long-standing core products will remain the cornerstone of the Island's international insurance market, these emerging product lines offer Bermuda the opportunity to build a significant market presence in excess layers where Bermuda insurers don't face entrenched incumbency from the US domestic or London markets, the BII said.

Mr Fisher added: “What is particularly exciting is to hear that many cyber clients come to Bermuda to purchase cyber coverage only, so these are new clients for the Bermuda market and offer the opportunity for real growth of the market”.

Governor George Fergusson delivered opening remarks at the conference which took place at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess this past Thursday and Friday.

The BII said: “The Governor implored Bermuda insurers to be noisy on the world stage about all of the good things both insurance and Bermuda has to offer.

“Central to this was the need for Bermuda insurers to be more innovative in their use of 21st century communications tools to get their message across, whether it be through Twitter or social networking.”

The conference was sold out with its 150 spots being oversubscribed.

Mr Fisher said: “We were also delighted to have more than 30 speakers and discussion panel participants involved in the conference this year, and what was especially exciting was to have a good number of high profile overseas speakers, something that we knew attendees at previous conferences had requested.”

BII and conference chairman Chris Fisher

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Published October 23, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 22, 2013 at 7:32 pm)

Growth opportunities seen in Island’s re/insurance sector

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