Energy transition the Munich Re way?

Didn’t Einstein say something once about the measure of intelligence being the ability to change? In which case, full marks must go this week to Munich Re Specialty Group for the launch of its ‘Green Solutions’ portfolio of products and services.

As the division says, the clearly stated aim is to capture a leading market share of green commercial specialty and primary insurance risks by 2030.

Specifically, the portfolio will target sectors with proven and emerging technologies in areas such as photovoltaic, wind, carbon capture and energy storage, as well as cross-selling in key related emerging risks such as cyber.

Why this caught my attention, as no-one even remotely connected with the Lloyd’s energy (re)insurance market will need telling, is that Munich Re Specialty Group includes Syndicate 457 (the old Watkins Syndicate), which for years now has been one of the market leaders for the oil and gas energy sectors, with a primary focus on insurance for exploration and production as well as construction activities of these industries, as well as offering a range of related covers for the upstream, midstream and downstream markets. In short, if you’re looking to insure a drilling rig, Syndicate 457 will almost certainly be one of the markets you will explore.

Yet times change, and Munich Re Specialty Group knows it has to evolve with the times. It has been a superb underwriter of the oil and gas sector, but is now looking to the future and the key emerging risks that will present to the energy sector in the decades to come. 

Last year it stated that it will no longer invest in or insuring contracts/projects exclusively covering the planning, financing, construction or operation of new oil and gas fields, where as at 31 December 2022 no prior production has taken place, no new midstream infrastructure related to oil, which have not yet been under construction or operation as at 31 December 2022 and new oil fired power plants, which have not yet been under construction or operation as at 31 December 2022. 

Of course, there will still be plenty of operational oil and gas out there in the years to come for the division to underwrite. And no-one is criticising them for continuing to demonstrate their capabilities here. Yet the launch of the ‘Green Solutions’ portfolio shows it has its eye not just on the last 20 years, but also the next. A model for others to follow.

Marcus Alcock, Editor,

Emerging Risks