James York co-founder and co-convenor of Totus Re tells Insurance Times why the Supreme Court decision sheds light on the need for a national risk strategy 

The Supreme Court business interpretation case appeal last week has highlighted the need for a national risk strategy, according to Totus Re’s co-founder and co-convenor James York.

He told Insurance Times: “A core lesson of this pandemic is that we as a country should, collectively be better prepared for future systemic shocks.

“We need more stabilising policy instruments, underpinned by a coherent strategic centralised approach.

”If the government is to be underwriter of last resort, the coronavirus pandemic does not seem to show a sustainable precedent.

This need, York said is what Totus Re is all about.

Several key stakeholders and the treasury have already been privately briefed about Totus Re’s qualitative policy aims, the reinsurer for reinsurers hopes to “inspire a willingness from the government and from the insurance market to contribute to the next steps”.

More instruments

He continued: “The coronavirus pandemic is costing the UK economy upwards of £280bn already, but that pales in context against the wider £2tn protection gap. We, as UK businesses and government, need more instruments to finance these kinds of events.”

York believes that the current events present the opportunity for us to build a bespoke and appropriate bridge between government institutions and the insurance and protection market. This already exists in banking.

“Insurance also needs to take a deep breath and reset its reputation.

”To do that, the sector needs to get around a table and recognise this ruling is an opportunity to revisit the current system, and determine where and how it can be improved on.

“Business As Usual” has been interrupted and should not be resumed, he added.

“We look forward to driving this initiative forward with like minds”.