Marine insurers need better data for ESG

The marine insurance industry needs to embrace data better if it is to successfully implement ESG aspirations, says Patrizia Kern, Chairperson of IUMI’s Data & Digitalization Forum. 

Speaking at IUMI’s conference in Chicago in September, she told the audience of underwriters that whilst more data on assureds’ activity is available, it needs to be consistent, reliable, relevant and provable to be of use. 

She said: “ESG is here to stay: over 92% of the S&P Global 500 companies now report on their ESG metrics and marine insurers are catching up fast. But ESG is meaningless unless it is substantiated by verifiable data. We have an opportunity to transform the marine industry and make it more attractive for investors and attract a new generation of socially conscious marine underwriters.”

The conference attendees heard detailed examples of how data can be used to identify trends and geographical hotspots for marine casualties, high risk ports tagged to alert shipowners, focused loss prevention activities undertaken based on assureds’ claim performance and human rights due diligence to ensure that insurers have a complete picture of their customers’ activities. Rapid advances in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) mean that ESG assessments can be embedded into business workflows.

However, challenges exist in data standardization, leading to many versions of the truth.

“We need to be ready to share more information with each other and standardise this data if we are to fully realize the benefits of taking an ESG stance,” commented Kern.

Photo credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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