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Annual Insurance Review 2020

Published on 08 January 2020

Hello and welcome to the 2020 edition of RPC’s annual insurance review. Here you will find updates from our experts across a whole range of business classes as well as from around the world. In the articles that follow you will be able to read our take on key issues that have impacted your market in the year gone – and our thoughts on the issues likely to affect you in the year to come.

In the introduction to our 2017 Annual Insurance Review we spoke about how political upheaval resulting from the twin shocks of the result of the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s election victory would impact on the insurance market. Three years on and perhaps now more than ever there is a sense that matters are coming to a head and that the geo-political instability as a whole is dominating the risk outlook.

Notwithstanding the result of December’s general election, Brexit uncertainty still hangs over us. Whilst fewer of our individual articles, perhaps, mention Brexit as a key risk factor this year, there is a sense that this may simply be because we’re all tired of mentioning it! The reality remains that Britain’s trade arrangements with its traditionally closest partners will remain in a state of flux for some time to come.

Add to this that Donald Trump will be contesting an election once again. (The only difference being that this time it will be less of a surprise if he wins.) Tension with Iran and impeachment proceedings only create more global uncertainty. Quite what international trade will look like by the time of the US elections towards the end of the year – your guess is as good as ours.

But unlike 2017, when these issues seemed fresh, daunting but (dare one say it) possibly exciting, now there is a sense of more wide ranging and deep-rooted political activism across the world, exemplified by the protests in Hong Kong that have been running since June and which show no signs of abating.

2019 was also the year of the Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg – political activism in the cause of a call to action on climate change. Whilst our review of 2019 saw the impact of climate change as a significant issue across many classes, this year we can see across the articles that climate change and the increased pressure to decarbonise our energy industries and economies as a whole has climbed very much to top of the risk agenda.

Of course this generates fascinating opportunities around the world (you can read about huge solar farm projects in Australia and Africa and vast offshore wind turbine fields). But now we can even talk of the insurance market being the drivers of political change – with many refusing to provide cover to traditional coal powered energy companies. (Even US insurers against (presumably) the will of their president.)

So perhaps 2020 will be the year that insurers will be more aligned with the political activists than with governments?

Elsewhere you will be able to read about the “weaponised” use of GDPR in medical malpractice claims, the continued increase in the use of technology in adjusting and evidence gathering and much, much more.


To find out more, explore this year's highlights below or download the full Review.