Swiss Re’s New SONAR Report Investigates 26 Emerging Risks

July 8, 2014

Swiss Re has released a report, “New emerging risk insights,” which is based on the reinsurer’s SONAR process, described as a “unique tool which uses Swiss Re’s internal risk management expertise to observe and evaluate new and emerging risks. It also draws on other sources such as the Chief Risk Officer Forums’ Emerging Risk Initiative.”

The report concludes that “today’s risk landscape is changing fast, driven by new economic, technological, socio-political, regulatory and environmental developments. The risks that emerge from these changes are often difficult to quantify, but they may have a major impact on society and the insurance industry, across all lines of business. This makes a systematic observation of the risks and a dialogue between insurers critical to the industry.”

David Cole, Swiss Re’s Group Chief Risk Officer, commented: “By sharing our findings we hope to raise awareness of emerging risks. The future is not a simple linear extrapolation of the past. Rather it is characterized by rapid and continuous change, thus looking back and extrapolating past experiences into the future is not sufficient to assess tomorrow’s exposure.”

Swiss Re said the “report discusses a wide variety of emerging risks relevant to both life and non-life insurance areas. Examples from this year’s report are cloud computing security, the effect of air pollution on mortality trends, concussion crisis in sports or the threat posed by new pathogens to rubber production. Many of those topics could have cascading effects across areas and lines of business.”

In addition to the above, a not by any means exhaustive list of some of the other emerging risks examined in the SONAR report includes the following:
– ̤Contagious emerging market crisis
– Eurozone crisis leading to deflation
– Digital slander
– E-cigarettes
̤- Financial consumer protection regulation
-̤ Food and water safety:
-̤ Secession risks in Europe
̤- “One size fits all” regulation
-̤ Aluminium health risks
̤ -̤ From 3D to 4D printing
-̤ Collapse of oceanic ecosystems

Source: Swiss Re

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