IUMI reiterates focus for 2021 on sustainability, resilience and innovation

Richard Turner, President of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has reinforced the association’s focus on facilitating a “sustainable, resilient and innovative future for the marine insurance industry”.

Speaking at IUMI’s online Spring Meeting, Turner said that Environmental, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) issues were impacting all forms of business, including marine insurance.

he believed that marine insurance would be affected in three ways.

Climate change and the related rise in sea levels would impact the frequency and severity of claims.

The evolution of the transport assets the marine insurance sector protects and changes to the cargoes being covered would also be significant. The insurance industry was already seeing the impact as shippers adopted low-sulphur fuels.

Thirdly the sustainability of insurers’ clients and the industries in which they operate would be a factor. “It is becoming increasingly clear that some industries will have the opportunity to grow and develop while others will shrink as the world moves to a more sustainable footing. As an industry, we need to recognize these changes and adapt”, Turner said.

IUMI’s ongoing response will be to continue its work in raising awareness of these issues to ensure the marine insurance sector is better prepared to respond adequately. More directly, the association is actively lobbying to raise relevant issues, monitor response and agitate for change.

The association noted that many issues already on IUMI’s policy agenda had a sustainability impact including arctic sailing and low sulphur fuels. Additionally, IUMI was coordinating responses from a wide range of stakeholders and projecting the view of marine insurance with a common voice.

Turner said that “building on a comprehensive member survey conducted more than a year ago, we are continuing our advocacy activity on a number of key issues. This has led to the formation of a sub-committee of IUMI’s executive committee to focus specifically on ESG issues. In addition, we are proud to be a supporting institution of the UN’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance.”

This year’s IUMI annual conference will once again be held online. The Seoul, Korea-hosted event will take place from September 2nd to September 15th 2021. The common theme will be “Pathways to a sustainable, resilient and innovative future”.

Turner concluded by saying that “this year’s common theme is both optimistic and forward-looking, and we aim to cover the opportunities and risks that marine insurance is likely to face in a continuing and post pandemic world. We will discuss the various options and pathways that marine insurance should pursue to ensure sustainability, both in terms of ESG issues but also to maintain marine underwriting as a healthy and resilient activity.”