The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies has released new data compiled by the Urban Insurance Partners Institute (UIPI), which shows that urban and emerging markets offer tremendous opportunity for insurers.
The report cautions, however, that insurers may not fully understand how to manage the market opportunity, along with the risk and exposure, in urban areas.
One common misperception, according to the UIPI, is that urban populations cannot afford insurance. “According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of home ownership in central cities grew 7.0 percent in 10 years, compared to 6.25 percent in the overall homeownership rate,” said the bulletin. “MetroEdge, a Chicago-based consulting group, has found that in a number of cities, the percentage of middle income households located in inner city urban areas tracks very closely with the percentage of middle income households in the surrounding metropolitan area.”
Suzanne Reade, UIPI president, commented: “Urban and emerging markets have special characteristics that make them more complex.”
Ross Miller, president and CEO of Hanover Fire & Casualty Insurance Company, added: “We have been working successfully in the urban marketplace for many years, but we have had to adapt. A company that puts some effort into understanding this environment can find it rewarding.”
Miller is chairman of the fourth national Urban Insurance Advantage workshop, organized by UIPI, which will be held Oct. 27, 2004, at the Hotel Sofitel in Chicago. Workshop speakers will address proven corporate strategies for success, risk management, and emerging issues that can affect any insurer already doing business in urban markets.
Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner, Julianne M. Bowler, and Illinois Acting Insurance Director, Deirdre Manna, will update the participants on current regulatory issues and offer their perspectives on urban insurance.
Top corporate urban and emerging markets managers from American Family, Travelers and FACT-Farmers Group will discuss their proven models for success. In addition, the National Insurance Crime Bureau and Illinois FAIR Plan will discuss loss trends in urban areas, the RAND Corporation’s Center for Terrorism Risk Management Policy will detail its current research, and a former NAIC president will explain the current urban and emerging markets legal and regulatory environment.
The UIPI is a nonprofit educational resource for insurers on urban and emerging markets. More information, including workshop program updates, can be found at www.uipi.org.