New IUMI president says marine insurers have to innovate

Richard Turner
Richard Turner

The new president of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has said the industry needs to deliver if it is to succeed.

As he took up the role at the end of the IUMI annual conference in Cape Town, Richard Turner said the marine insurance winners of the future will be those who can combine the old and the new.

“I believe, in the future, data will play an ever-increasing role in the industry,” he said. “I believe the winners will be those who can successfully embrace and integrate new technology and combine that with the art of underwriting we have seen in marine insurance over many years.”

Turner, who is the first British president in the organisation’s 144-year history, will move to Luxembourg to head up RSA’s European Union (EU) subsidiary. He is currently the global head of risk solutions at the UK-based insurer.

Speaking about the effects of Brexit, he said there is no indication as to how the transition will effect the London market.

“It is not clear right now,” he said. “Part of the reasons is that the political answer has yet to be revealed. It will much depend on the ability of underwriters in London to meet the needs of clients in the EU. I have moved to Luxembourg as part of my company’s response to the issue.”

He pledged to keep a steady hand on the tiller of the organisation, but added that its relevance in the market has never been stronger.

“The various insurance associations across the world do a tremendous job on behalf of their members. However, given we are a global industry, there needs to be an organisation that brings the threads together and I believe IUMI does that job very well,” Turner said.

He added there was an urgent need for insurers to look to the products and services they provide to the shipping market.

“We need to examine what we currently provide and ask ourselves if there is a need for new types of products. Many of the products that we offer have been in existence with little or no change for many years.”

Turner said education for those across the industry was key and that, during his four-year term, he hoped that IUMI will drive the issue of education with a cargo education facility already launched and the hope that a hull course will following in the coming 12 months.

“These education schemes, whilst designed for underwriters, should be available to surveyors and other market participants,” he explained. “I believe we need to focus on delivering education on what we do and how to meet the challenges we face.”

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