InsureTalk25: Emergent Risks

The August 2022 edition of InsureTalk, number 25 in the series, focused on emergent risks. Host Nonnie Mhlungu once again did a superb job of introducing speakers and keeping the show on the road.

Tafadzwa Mugadza, Senior Casualty Underwriter at Munich Re of Africa, discussed climate change as an emergent risk from the perspective of a reinsurer. She spoke on sustainability and ESG, sustainability drivers, the risk landscape and climate change liability and litigation, and took delegates through a few of the next steps that we as an industry need to implement in order to manage this risk sustainably.

Mike Cannon, Director, Mitig8, spoke on the future of risk management. The big question is how do we manage and control the emergent risks that have come to the fore in recent years? Covid, remote working, floods, load shedding, water risks and riots are just some of the risks he mentioned specifically.

Risk surveys, he says, have become a hot topic in South Africa. He outlined some of the reasons why we conduct risk surveys.

He discussed the current methods of risk surveying and their pros and cons and outlined the benefits of outsourcing risk surveys to specialists.

Nkejane Mofokeng, Casualty Facultative Underwriter at Munich Re, Africa, spoke on the interconnectedness of risk.

The tree of globalisation has fruit and thorns, he said, referring to the benefits and risks associated with the opening up of world markets.

Nkejane ranked emergent risks under the headings “environmental”, “social/political/economic”, “regulatory/legal” and “technological”.

“The key for us is to keep monitoring how these risks change over time,” he said, before jumping into the definition of interconnectedness and the way risks interact, and what impact these risks have on each other.

Here are some of the interconnected risks he unpacked:

“We really need to start questioning the conventional risk assessment models that we have come to rely on,” he concluded. “Risks once thought rare are now becoming more common, with an impact that grows more severe over time. We can’t rely on past experiences to shape the future.”

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After a short entertainment break, with music provided by Cetrick Dipina, the IISA’s Thokozile Mahlangu shared details of the institute’s latest educational offering, which is the certificate in digital insurance. The programme is offered in conjunction with TDI Academy. It focuses on developing and harnessing critical skills that will enable the industry as it moves forward in a digital environment.

Tony van Niekerk from Cover Publications spoke on a topic that is very relevant to the industry – knowledge sharing.

“Every single one of us has got something to share, and there are people who need that which you can share,” he said.

Some people are able to get a lot done, while other struggle. Prevailing literature puts this down to a “need to do less”, but Tony isn’t convinced this is right.

“I want to live life to the fullest,” he said, “not slow down and do less… I’ve learnt so much from the people I have interacted with over the years.” Here are some of the lessons Tony has picked up along the way:

  • There’s no such thing as a bottleneck – only a scheduling problem.
  • What is a bucket list without a long-term project plan?
  • Don’t live your life based on outcomes. Rather explore the motivation behind the goals.
  • Surround yourself with people you can trust.
  • Everyone has something to share.

In a joint presentation, Thandanani Mbhele and Lauren Lanz from Munich Re of Africa discussed the commercial considerations under IFRS17, a new global reporting standard that will come into effect in January 2023.

“Time is of the essence,” said Thandanani. The new standards require comparable historical data, which means insurers should already have started compiling information in the new format.

The pair unpacked the transition methods and measurement approaches when moving from IFRS4 to IFRS17, the need for financial reinsurance solutions, coverage units and CSM runoff, and the acceleration of the tax liability.

Bert Weenink, partner at business coaching organisation Action Coach, discussed his top 5 emergent risks for SMEs in 2023.

  1. Marketing effectiveness
  2. Losing key members of your team
  3. Sudden reduction in sales
  4. Financial risk
  5. Burnout risk

He defined risk as “uncertainty that matters”, and highlighted that risk can also lead to opportunity.

Nonnie closed the event by thanking headline sponsor Munich Re and partners Cover and IISA, pointing out that there were over 2 100 people who attended the webinar.

InsureTalk25 marked Nonnie’s last appearance as host of the conference. CN&CO Events’ Llewellyn du Plessis thanked her for her contribution over the past 18 months as “Miss InsureTalk” and assured her that our paths would cross again.

InsureTalk 26 takes place on 29 September from 10am to 1pm. You can register to attend by clicking this link. You will receive 2.5 CPD hours from the IISA for registering and attending.

In the meantime, check out the recording of InsureTalk25 below: