EL and D&O capacity will top the agenda at the FERMA conference

Despite rumours of softening markets, employers' liability (EL) and directors' and officers' (D&O) insurance capacity will top the agenda in Rome at next week's annual Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) conference.

Airmic executive director David Gamble said that finding EL and D&O cover remained a central concern for UK risk managers. He said that while the use of captives continues to increase, most businesses were unwilling or unable to self-insure EL and D&O due to conflicts of interest.

Gamble said that business continuity, which was the number one concern of risk managers at this year's Airmic conference in June, was still a vital issue, with the recent New York blackouts reinforcing the importance of having adequate cover and systems in place.

He said that terrorism also remained a key concern. "That is an area where everyone is maintaining a degree of vigilance."

Emerging risks such as intellectual property were also becoming increasingly important, Gamble said.

"We need to help people get better educated about intellectual property."

One of the issues to emerge from the Airmic conference was the increasing number of risks that are uninsurable, but Gamble said that several insurers were beginning to respond to the challenge and address product innovation.

"There is some movement. A number of companies are seeing innovation as a way that they can differentiate themselves," he said.

But until the level of investment capital in the insurance industry returned to previous levels, Gamble said it was unlikely that large investments in product innovation would be made.