Broker seeks lifeguard as it looks to quantify emerging risk threat

Broker Aon has said it is seeking to build closer ties with the world’s scientific community in an effort to generate a greater understanding the threat posed by emerging risks.

It has launched the new collaboration with science crowdsourcing organisation Lifeguard that will drive peer-reviewed scientific research on emerging risks in the property and casualty insurance sectors through engagement with the scientific community worldwide.

In the wake of the IPCC report in climate change which warned that the world was running out of time to halt the rise in global temperatures and the risks that will come with it, there are growing concerns in the (re)insurance industry around their ability to manage current exposures and meet the expected rise in costs after a second consecutive year when  the cost of insured natural perils have exceeded $1 billion.

Amanda Lyons, Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions US casualty strategic growth leader, said: “Aon’s collaboration with Lifeguard acknowledges the strong alignment between scientific research and risk understanding and management. For many years, Aon has been utilizing output from our global academic relationships to inform our understanding of natural hazards and, more recently, climate change. This collaboration will help to expand our endeavours into new areas of risk, to the benefit of clients and the broader industry.”

Under the terms of the agreement Aon and Lifeguard will deliver scientific insights to the insurance industry in areas with “recognised knowledge gaps”, as well as provide new perspectives on emerging risks such as climate change, extreme weather, biotechnology and nanotechnology.

“The Aon-Lifeguard collaboration will help to reduce traditional research and development time-cycles by utilising crowdsourcing research methods to deliver broader and more timely insights,” Aon added in a statement. “This information will enable Aon and its clients to make better business decisions, and develop more innovative products, services and solutions that help to navigate volatility and build business resilience, while addressing underserved markets and segments of risk.”

Lifeguard’s crowdsourcing platform, which brings together global scientists, subject-matter experts and innovators with diverse skill-sets and expertise, will enable extensive collaboration among the scientific community, who work together to better understand and address the complex emerging risks facing the insurance industry.

The collaboration with Aon will augment existing insurance industry emerging risks research and provide insights into areas where insurers lack the resources to gain a thorough understanding of their exposures.

The collaboration will also offer insurers and reinsurers the opportunity to co-sponsor emerging risk-relevant research on topics of specific concern, to better inform the decision-making process.

Samantha Bennett, founder of Lifeguard, said: “The goal of Lifeguard is to prevent avoidable suffering, enable safer lifestyles, strengthen businesses and inform the risk management industry. We are excited to be collaborating with Aon and bringing to insurers and reinsurers the benefits of our global network of scientific contributors and innovative research methods.”