Joe Plumeri, Chairman and CEO of Willis Group Holdings, told delegates at the Insurance Day Conference in Bermuda that the insurance industry is entering a “golden age” of opportunity. He cited the fact that there are two billion people in Brazil, Russia, India and China, the “BRIC” countries, who are set to join an emerging global middle class in the next 20 years.
Plumeri stated: “Over the course of the 21st century, the wealth and insurable value that the exploding global middle class will create will be unprecedented in history. The resulting global demand for insurance will dwarf the capital and capacity of today’s insurance market.”
How the industry responds to that challenge, and others, could well determine its future. Plumeri expressed confidence that, given the industry’s ability to innovate and handle new situations, such as its response to the attacks of Sept. 11, it would do quite well. He stated that the industry would rise to the new challenges presented by the growth of the BRIC economies by “harnessing the strength of the global capital markets to provide tailored insurance for home and business.”
“The new middle class will need brokers that understand them and their industries,” he continued. “They’ll need carriers who are innovative, financially secure, and who are there when they need them – carriers with a reputation for paying legitimate claims quickly.”
He also predicted that there would be positive developments in the West, particularly in the US where economic troubles are reducing the Government’s appetite for public insurance. Citing talk of a scaling back of the Terrorism backstop and the unsustainability of the National Flood Insurance Program, Plumeri stated that, “As the public sector inevitably retreats, opportunities will be created for the insurance industry in many areas.”
Source: Willis Group Holdings plc
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