Stephen Catlin To Serve As Chairman Of IDF

April 18, 2016

Leaders of the United Nations, the World Bank Group and the insurance industry today announced the formation of the Insurance Development Forum [IDF] which occurred at a high level meeting in Washington, DC held last week, with Stephen Catlin set to chair the IDF.

The IDF aims to: 1] incorporate insurance industry risk measurement know-how into existing governmental disaster risk reduction and resilience frameworks; and 2] to build out a more sustainable and resilient global insurance market in a world facing growing natural disaster and climate risk.

This announcement followed a keynote address by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at a planning conference last week with many CEOs of the industry which emphasized the critical role that the insurance industry can play in building natural disaster resilience and helping meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The IDF said, “Today in the developing world, more than 90% of economic costs of natural disasters are uninsured; this is known as the Protection Gap. The IDF Mission is to better understand and utilize risk measurement tools that will help governments apply that knowledge at multiple levels in order to better deploy governmental resources targeting resilience to protect people and their property.

“During its inaugural meeting, the IDF established four priority work streams:

  • 1. Understanding Risk: the IDF will support a better understanding of hazards and the exposure and vulnerability of people and assets to those hazards. By quantifying the risks and anticipating the potential impacts of hazards, governments, communities and individuals can make informed decisions on resilience, insurance, investment and wider policies and interventions.
  • 2. Risk and Insurance Regulation, Legislation and Policy: the IDF will promote [i] supportive and inclusive insurance regulation to increase access to insurance by the most vulnerable and [ii] integration of quantitative and standardized climate and natural hazard risk disclosure into mainstream financial and accounting systems and the appropriate adoption of resilience policies to protect lives, livelihoods and assets.
  • 3. Risk Sharing, Transfer and Response: the IDF will fully support the delivery of the G7 InsuResilience Climate Risk Insurance Target and facilitate availability of climate and natural hazard risk sharing facilities in most regions. The IDF will identify and address challenges to wider insurance coverage [including sovereign, micro-insurance and conventional insurance facilities] and encourage insurance development metrics within updated official statistics and post 2015 indicators.
  • 4. Risk and Resilience: the IDF will help build the capacity of developing and emerging countries to manage and implement sustainable financing and resilient investment from insurance and related sectors. It will support the creation of a Global Adaptation and Resilience Fund to invest in resilience related technologies, innovation and facilities.

IDF Bermuda April 18 2016

“The IDF acts as a Forum to enable the optimal coordination of insurance related activities; the development of shared priorities; the mobilization of collective resources; the development of strategic and operational relationships within and between governments, industry and international institutions; and, the avoidance of unhelpful and unnecessary fragmentation of efforts and resources.

“These collective actions can help close the Protection Gap. It will be led by a High Level Steering Group of senior leaders from the insurance industry and governmental institutions supported by an Executive Secretariat, housed at the International Insurance Society [IIS].”

The IDF is chaired by:

  • Stephen Catlin, Executive Deputy Chairman, XL Catlin; Deputy Chair International Insurance Society and Chair of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers.

With co-chairs:

  • Joaquim Levy, Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Financial Officer, and former Minister of Finance of Brazil.
  • Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program [UNDP], and former Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Insurance Industry Chair Stephen Catlin said: “My grandchildren expect me to make responsible decisions that affect their future. Insurers’ risk management skills help us assess natural disaster risk and can be exported to allow governments at all levels to reduce future losses by designing in resilience into infrastructure projects; and in increasing the use of insurance as a pre-disaster economic resource to allow people to protect their families, property and assets.

“Risk identification, measurement, pooling and diversification are essential features of any successful insurance program and regulation must recognize their value and purpose. These skills can increase the utilization of insurance which will reduce the reliance on post-disaster aid and better target resources to the most important and needed humanitarian crises. Research has shown that a 1% increase in insurance penetration can reduce the disaster recovery burden on taxpayers by 22%.

“The IDF brings together the resources of the broader insurance industry reflected in the membership of the International Insurance Society, The Geneva Association, the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation and the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers.”

During the meeting the leadership announced the formation of seven working groups targeted to specific project goals. The working groups will report to the High Level Steering Group in September in the margins of the UN General Assembly.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Caroline says:

    Congratulations to Stephen Catlin on this appointment which is a huge honour. Thanks Stephen for being a great supporter of Bermuda.

  2. Aware says:

    What an honour for Stephen Catlin, huge friend and supporter of Bermuda. Congratulations!