Acting editor Yiannis Kotoulas discusses how the insurance sector can better support bold thinking and contribute some ideas itself

One of the advantages of the insurance industry is that it moves slowly in a fast moving world – that it has remained financially stable and secure in the UK over hundreds of years is testament to this attitude, which allows the sector to reliably underwrite risks and promote the sort of considered risk taking behaviours that drive innovation forward while not overextending. 

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Yiannis Kotoulas

As a whole, insurance can see itself as a partner to people and businesses across the country, the sort of partner that we all need sometimes – the one who places a hand on a shoulder and asks “have you considered these risks?”. 

However, as the rate of change seen across the globe accelerates – driven forward by technology, innovation and new ideas – can insurance benefit from a little more bold thinking? 

The advantages of stability and taking care are clear, but if applied uncritically this pattern of thought can lead to stagnation.

Knowing the risks

Of course, those working in the insurance industry are experts in considered risk taking – and in a world where those risks are increasing manyfold, insurance has a part to play in ensuring that society can tackle them effectively by supporting those that provide bold, workable solutions.

One such risk is global warming – you may have heard of it.

The impacts of climate change, whether those be increased costs of flooding, forest fires or subsidence, have a direct effect on the insurance sector.

As Trevor Hemsley discusses in our cover story, the sector’s direct engagement with the impacts of climate change give it a unique perspective on the issues, providing it with the ammo to boldly communicate the risks to those unconvinced by other communications. 

While climate change is perhaps the biggest risk society faces, the insurance sector’s engagement with other, new risks puts in a position of authority other sectors can not reach. 

Take the risk of solar flare storms, as discussed this month by reporter Isobel Rafferty, for example. These geomagnetic events originating from the sun can powerfully damage electronic equipment on Earth and in Earth’s orbit.

Because of the planet’s increased reliance on electronic systems for everyday life, the potential damage caused by these storms has increased – another example of an area that bold thinkers from the insurance industry could take the lead on.

Bold thinking does not have only to global risks or events either.

Closer to home, those working in the insurance industry are taking it upon themselves to improve the lives of people around them. As evidenced in our interviews with A-Plan chief executive Kelly Ogley and Aviva managing director of mid-market Michael Yabantu, passionate dedication to promoting inclusion and diversity can also take bold forms. 

Mounds of evidences exist in the insurance sector of bold thinking. So, will the real bold thinkers please stand up? Great – now let’s give them a round of applause.