Hurricane Katrina has exposed volatility that could define the future of the insurance industry over the next 10 years, according to Aon Captive Services.

Speaking at the company's conference in Athens, Steve McGill warned delegates that many firms would fail unless the industry sought solutions to the changing risk profile of its major clients.

McGill, global large corporate business chief executive at Aon, cited an increasing focus on risk and catastrophic loss, as evidenced by Hurricane Katrina, as one of the many challenges facing corporate clients.

He said: "Some of the most significant risks that clients face are intangible, yet many insurers remain rooted in protecting tangible assets."

Pool Re admission on terror claims
Pool Re has admitted that some claims submitted to it may not be paid in the event of a terrorist attack.

Steve Atkins, Pool Re chief executive, said claims would not be met if there were no proven links between a particular organisation and an act of terrorism.

Pool Re's definition of a terrorist act requires there to be a link between the person carrying out the act and an organisation "which carries out activities directed towards the overthrowing or influencing of any government by force or violence".

But Atkins added that it would be rare for a claim not to be honoured for this reason, saying that any disputed claim, although not paid directly through Pool Re, would be paid by the relevant property insurer.