The inaugural National Terrorism Reinsurance Pools Congress, initiated by Pool Re in London in October, played a crucial role in answering that vital question. By bringing together experts in the insurance and security industries, it provided a timely opportunity to recount experiences, discuss strategy and collaborate over ideas on how we might evolve to meet the changing nature of the terrorist threat.
As we all know, ensuring that we are economically resilient against terror attack relies on our providing the right insurance cover, something which in turn relies on accurately predicting the probability and severity of future losses. Nonetheless, single events can turn insurers’ assumptions on their head in a flash.
It was the IRA bombing of the Baltic Exchange in my constituency in 1992, for example, that led to the creation of Pool Re itself. To deal with the unprecedented scale of damage and the withdrawal of insurers from the marketplace, a partnership was built between the UK Treasury and Britain’s insurers which made government insurer of last resort.
Following the 9/11 attacks, its coverage was extended to include incidents of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear terrorism risks.
Now we face new threats in the form of cyber-attack and coordinated shootings and bombings by groups of terrorists or lone wolves. We must turn our minds to how we can protect businesses in such circumstances, and it is right that the insurance industry of today discusses the potential to cover losses that fall outside pools’ original mandates, and embraces ways to cope with the emergence of tomorrow’s threats.
The Congress provided a terrific forum to discuss the innovations and initiatives adopted in a variety of countries, to discover how we can learn together, and to advance the implementation of shared strategies.
It has been my pleasure to work alongside Pool Re to bring about this important event, and to gather so many industry experts from across the world to discuss these critical topics. In convening terrorism reinsurance pool leaders from across the globe, we signify our united approach and continued dedication to improving the resilience of our nations and our economies.
Ultimately, sharing solutions will help to ensure that the global economy remains robust in the face of attacks whose sole aim is to create instability and havoc.
Mark Field is MP for Cities of London and Westminster, Vice-Chairman (International) of the Conservative Party and was a Member of the Intelligence and Security Committee from 2010 to 2015.
Take a look back at our Congress page.