Swiss Re Meeting will bring together Latin American marine insurance underwriters

The reinsurer's aim at the fifth edition of this event, to be held 8-10 May in Peru, will be to share knowledge and offer Latin American markets support with underwriting transportation risks, particularly in relation to works of art and money in transit.

Between 8-10 May, professionals from the Latin American marine insurance markets will meet in Lima, the capital of Peru, for the 5th Latin American Meeting of Marine Insurance Underwriters, sponsored by Swiss Re. At this edition of the event, which is held every two years, the organizers expect over one hundred professionals from 15 Latin American countries, in addition to representatives from the London and North American markets.

Erika Schoch, the head of Marine Reinsurance at Swiss Re for Latin America, calls the meeting the most important in the field, underscoring the great opportunity professionals have to exchange experiences and knowledge. During the more than two days of debates, she says that focus will be on two topics in particular: marine insurance for works of art and for money in transit.

In most Latin American countries, both types of insurance, according to Ms Schoch, still depend primarily on the London reinsurance market for reinsurance and risk underwriting. However, she believes that these markets already meet sufficient conditions to underwrite their own risks in this line. "Swiss Re's aim at this meeting is to share knowledge with the Latin American market so that each country can underwrite its risks without being limited to the London market," she says.

Potential of Latin America

As president of the Latin American Association of Marine Insurance Underwriters (ALSUM), Ms Schoch observes that marine transportation insurance in Latin America, which currently accounts for 8.2% of the global market, is in clear expansion and still has a lot of potential for development. "Based on that information alone, we can conclude that this is a very important and diversified market," she says.

The Latin American countries, according to the Swiss Re head, offer different opportunities for transportation insurance. Brazil and Mexico, for example, in the oil & gas and off shore oil platform businesses, and Chile, Argentina and Colombia, in cargo transportation.

The good economic conditions of some countries in the group also favor, she says, the coverage of risks for transporting works of art and money in transit, the demand for which has been increasing in proportion to the improvement seen in the income level and buying power of the respective populations.

According to Ms Schoch, Latin America has hosted major contemporary art exhibitions, some valued in the tens of millions of dollars. Still, the transportation of these works can be somewhat complex and require specific knowledge for risk underwriting and reinsurance capacity.

“In this sense, Swiss Re positions itself as a partner of these markets, offering knowledge, training, technical support and capacity," she affirms. She adds that Swiss Re's goal is to work together with the insurers, with a view to promoting the growth of the Latin American market by offering innovative services and products.

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