We asked risk managers and their brokers about what they expect will be the biggest challenges in 2013—and how they are preparing to respond to them.
Frank Russo, Vice President of Risk Management, Silverado Senior Living
“If I had to use one word to sum up 2013, it would be ‘uncertainty.’ I’m concerned by the hardening of insurance markets [next year], specifically Property, Professional Liability and Workers’ Compensation. With market hardening come fewer opportunities: There will be fewer carriers willing to insure, fewer financing options and alternatives, and [higher rates].
“We are approaching 2013 as a year to reevaluate our entire risk portfolio. Companies are going to have to become creative in the way they mitigate and manage risk—they’re going to need to bet on themselves and outperform loss forecasts. Traditional insurance programs are becoming far less attractive in today’s uncertain risk climate.
“In health-care risk management, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is riddled with uncertainty. I’m not sure anyone can accurately predict the numerous effects it will have on health-care companies.”
Dan Knise, President & CEO, Ames & Gough
"The risks our clients face are always evolving—and it is critical that we be ahead of the curve in understanding new areas of risk and developing appropriate solutions to mitigate those risks and transfer them through insurance or other means. Examples of newer risk [protections] include Contingent Business Interruption [coverage for] storms and other catastrophic events.
“The insurance industry is full of risk and opportunity, and we are focused on capturing these opportunities by remaining a trusted adviser to our clients. This includes both assisting with newer [exposures] such as cyber and network security and applying new and improved approaches to age-old issues like how to reduce Workers’ Compensation costs.”
Lori Seidenberg, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management, Centerline Capital Group
"The potential [non-extension] of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) in 2014 would be a huge blow to real estate and insurance. There are still lender requirements surrounding Terrorism coverage for those with exposure, but no standalone marketplace for coverage.
“Even though the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is extended to 2017, the program is in trouble. It already owes $12 billion to the Treasury from the storms of 2005—and Superstorm Sandy was a major blow as well. FEMA is expected to remap many properties into Flood Zone A, and NFIP rates are expected to rise, impacting the closing of new loans and the loans currently being serviced in our portfolio. Insurance rates for apartmentbuildings in tier-one wind and flood zones still continue to rise.”
Gary Pearce, Vice President, Risk Management Group, Kelly Services Inc.
“We approach 2013 with an unprecedented number of risk issues that are deserving of attention, including matters of compliance, litigation, customer demands and internal processes. We also approach the new year with limited clarity and visibility regarding the future business environment.
“Because of this uncertainty, we need to limit our risk-management investments and commitments and be ready to change course or add new components as our risk environment evolves. To do this will require close engagement with our business units, operational resilience and a strong breadth of skills within our risk-management organization.”
Alice Cameron, Managing Director, Marsh Private Client Services
“Marsh Private Client Services protects high-net-worth individuals and families, their properties and their possessions with intelligent risk-management solutions. Our clients have multiple homes, significant collections, high-value assets and property, high-profile lifestyles, board of directors’ responsibilities, public-company leadership roles, and extensive multigenerational family considerations.
“Our challenge is customizing individualized solutions that meet clients’ risk tolerance while balancing the costs and coverage. Our approach is to start by listening. We listen to our clients’ needs and use our expertise to craft solutions to meet those needs—where are they in life and where do they want to go?
“Risk profiles can change over the years, so we instituted a Stewardship program that includes regular reviews of the client's personal risk-management loss profile. We’ve dedicated substantial resources to maintaining our superior standards for account service. Our Stewardship program seeks to ensure our clients continue to receive the high-caliber service that led them to select Marsh in the first place.
“Looking ahead to 2013, we are dedicated to delivering efficient and effective risk-transfer solutions, advising our clients on how to manage and mitigate the risks in their lives, and championing our clients by engaging in robust claims advocacy.
“We are also committed to finding and developing the talent that can keep up with our clients’ changing risk exposures that span the range of traditional risks—like flood, fire, theft and fraud—to emerging risks such as social-media exposure. To meet this challenge, we have crafted a number of learning and development programs, including Marsh University, to entice and encourage the next generation into this great industry.”
Registration is now open for the annual conference of the Risk and Insurance Management Society. This year’s event, with the theme“Stay Ahead of the Curve,” is being held in Los Angeles April 21-24.