Swiss Re's SONAR: new emerging risk insights for 2014

Cloud computing security, e-cigarettes and the ramifications of sports concussions are some of risks discussed in this year's SONAR.

Some may not materialise, while others definitely will: but what's certain is that the earlier the insurance industry adapts to emerging risks, the better prepared it will be for future exposures and opportunities.

The 2014 edition of Swiss Re's SONAR: new emerging risk insights (PDF, 1.55 MB) analyses 26 emerging risks from an insurance perspective. Topics include the risks connected with cloud computing, such as data leakage and computer resource hijacking; neurotoxins in e-cigarettes and the possible health effects; and repeated contact sport-related concussions linked to degenerative brain disease, and the related lawsuits in the US.

Action cams - small, lightweight and shock resistant video recorders designed for extreme action photography - and whether they incite riskier behaviour among users, is also discussed, along with digital slander, secession risks in Europe and other issues.

In-house expertise

SONAR is our in-house system for gathering early signals of emerging risks.  Themes are derived through Swiss Re's internal process, along with Risk Radar elements of the CRO Forum's Emerging Risk Initiative. 

The potential impact for each risk examined in SONAR is designated high, medium or low and  categorised according to insurance-related business area: property, casualty, life & health, financial markets, claims and operations. The risks are also divided among time frames.

Our emerging risk professionals use the information gathered and analysed to develop their insights.

Highlighting risks to spark interest

"By sharing our findings we hope to raise awareness for these specific risks," Philippe Brahin, Head of Group Qualitative Risk Management, says in SONAR.

"The future is no longer a simple linear extrapolation of the past, but rather characterised by rapid change and interdependencies, looking back and extrapolating past experiences into the future will no longer be sufficient to assess tomorrow's exposure."

Download your copy of SONAR: new emerging risk insights.


Published 8 July 2014

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