Swiss Re Economists Win Award for Research on Nat Cat Protection Gap

April 25, 2017

The Geneva Association and the International Insurance Society (IIS) announced the 2017 winner of their collaborative insurance research program, the Shin Research Excellence Awards.

Thomas Holzheu and Ginger Turner of Swiss Re received the award for their paper on “The Natural Catastrophe Protection Gap.” (See below for their biographies).

The research will be presented during the IIS Global Insurance Forum in London on July 17-20 to more than 500 senior insurance leaders from around the world. It will also be published in The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance and distributed by the IIS and The Geneva Association.

“The Shin Research Excellence Awards program was established to promote practically oriented, applied research in the field of insurance and risk management, addressing topics which directly influence business operations,” said a statement issued by the two organizations.

“The increasing severity and frequency of weather-related catastrophes has led to enormous economic losses and human suffering. Societal resilience and loss mitigation requires the involvement and cooperation of multiple actors,” said Anna Maria D’Hulster, secretary general of The Geneva Association.

She added that the work of Holzheu and Turner advances the importance of cooperation among governments, the insurance sector, corporations and individuals.

“The steadily widening protection gap is an area where the insurance industry is poised to have significant impact,” said Michael J. Morrissey, IIS president and CEO.

“Working collaboratively as an industry along with our public sector partners, there is considerable momentum and enormous potential to enhance communities’ resilience against climate risks, thereby protecting lives and livelihoods. Research is a critical underpinning of this effort,” he continued.

“The Swiss Re team of researchers presented outstanding work which will aid in our industry’s efforts to mitigate loss associated with climate risks,” said Dr. Joan Lamm-Tennant, CEO of Blue Marble Microinsurance.

Shin Research Excellence Awards program is endowed by Kyobo Life Insurance Company and chaired by Lamm-Tennant at Blue Marble. It aims to foster original research, which is refereed by a panel of insurance experts and industry scholars.

Biographies of Award Winners

Thomas Holzheu is the Swiss Re Institute Chief Economist, Americas. He is responsible for Swiss Re’s American economic and insurance market research, which includes the “sigma” studies, which are Swiss Re’s research series on the insurance industry.

Holzheu is the author of several sigma studies on trends in the worldwide insurance industries, covering a broad range of topics including non-traditional re/insurance solutions, the global underinsurance of property risks, economic and non-economic liability claims drivers and the impact of inflation on insurance.

Thomas Holzheu

He joined Swiss Re Group in 1990 and has worked in Germany, Switzerland and the U.S. Prior experiences include marketing services, treaty underwriting, corporate development and competitor analysis. He graduated from the University of Munich with a M.S. and a Ph.D. in economics.

Ginger Turner is manager Strategy Development and chief of staff to Swiss Re’s group chief strategy officer. She is also an adjunct associate professor at the University of Sydney Business School. As an economist, her research has focused on catastrophe risk and insurance, including the behavioral economics of risk-taking after natural disasters, terrorism insurability, mobile distribution in emerging markets and the global natural disaster underinsurance gap.

Ginger Turner

Prior to joining Swiss Re, she worked in the World Bank Office of the chief economist, The Wharton School and Goldman Sachs. Turner studied at Stanford University (B.A. Economics/MS Engineering) and the University of Oxford (MPhil/DPhil Econ) as a Rhodes Scholar.

She is a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.