May 2017 / Insight

The Time Is Now For Innovative Products For The Special Risks Market

Rupert Reid

CEO of Security Exchange and part of the Chelsea Group Risk Management team.

The Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS) annual gathering is a thing to behold. Anyone who is anyone in the insurance market is in attendance: brokers introducing their corporate risk managers to underwriting markets; and underwriters courting the attention of brokers, in one huge speed-dating exercise from dawn to dusk and often beyond. This year’s event in Philadelphia was no exception: wall-to-wall meetings all day and competing receptions by night; with the bigger players throwing lavish parties with live bands, circus acts and free bars until the early hours in an attempt to woo and poach new corporate clients and impress their existing ones.

It is a little like the Oscars: if you’re not there, people notice; which is why the Security Exchange (SE) team always turns out in force (not just for the free bars, you understand), this year, of course, brandishing the new Chelsea Group marketing material. With so many decision-makers in one place, it is an opportunity to show support for our underwriting markets and meet new corporate clients looking for an alternative to the usual suspects.

Yet was the mood a little more subdued than in recent years? Certainly, the soft market is combining with high loss ratios to challenge a number of the niche insurers who may not have the critical mass to carry them through the undeniable dip in the market; and many simply weren’t there. Even the mighty Lloyd’s of London, who usually ship out the whole senior management team and throw a decent party, were conspicuous by their absence.

For some time now, SE has been predicting a change in the Special Risks market and has been working with our underwriting partners to develop new and innovative products; and we are now witnessing those who adopted the ‘rabbit in headlight’ or ‘ostrich head in the sand’ position (if you will excuse the mixed metaphors) struggling to keep their heads above water (there’s another one) in the current climate.

One of the many great things about the Chelsea Group is its diversity and innovation; and we will, I think, reap the benefits of our willingness to think out of the box in the very near future.

Meanwhile, we need to start planning for RIMS in San Antonio, 2018.

In response to current economic conditions and evolving global security issues, Security Exchange and Hart have formed the  Chelsea Group Risk Management Division, specialists in Security and Crisis Management. The new Chelsea Group Risk Management Division provides immediate crisis response services in support of the Lloyd’s and London insurance sector and customer-specific security consulting direct to business. Our services are affordable in the current tough market conditions; yet scaleable where such services are most needed.