SONAR 2019: New emerging risk insights

Our SONAR report identifies new, changing and not-yet envisioned risks that the re/insurance industry needs to have on its radar.

The top five emerging risks in our SONAR 2019 report are digital technology's clash with legacy hardware, potential threats from the spread of 5G mobile networks, increasingly limited fiscal and monetary flexibility by central banks, genetic testing's implications on life insurers, and the impact of climate change on the life and health sector. 

SONAR examines new and "slow-burner" emerging risks and their potential effects on the re/insurance industry. This year's report features 15 emerging risk themes and five trend spotlights as well as an overview of global macro trends. Among the topics are the rising vaccine hesitancy, hazards of cosmetic surgery tourism, artificial intelligence and healthcare, concussion injuries in sports, the warehouse of the future, and the baby boomers' skills gap.

Our special feature examines how societies and healthcare systems will need to adapt to a warming world. We've been monitoring the emerging risks related to climate change since 1989. With climate change now a real-life danger, we pinpoint new associated risks such as the greater threat of pandemics due to warming temperatures and air pollution caused by more frequent wildfires.

We hope this year's SONAR report provokes new insights for you. We look forward to engaging with you to discuss your thoughts and the spectrum of emerging risks overall.
Patrick Raaflaub, Group Chief Risk Officer, Group Risk Management

Teaching an old dog new tricks

Digital tech meets legacy hardware

Old infrastructure can cause disruptions, breakdowns and accidents when it is connected to digitised software.  

Limits to tinkering

The fiscal and monetary policy balance at risk

Central banks are running out of tools to stimulate the economy. 

Don't ask, don't tell

Genetic testing and adverse selection

Predictive genetic tests by 23andMe and YouSurance are likely to widen the information gap between insurer and insured. But there is upside potential.

A shot worth more than politics and profitability


Immunisation prevents 2-3 million deaths every year, but this achievement is under threat due to anti-vaccination campaigns and the economic viability of vaccine production and distribution. 

Off the leash

5G mobile networks

Worries about 5G technology include negative health effects, privacy issues, security breaches and an increased possibility of cyber espionage. 

Special feature: Climate change and life & health

New cascading risks related to climate change, such as the increased threat of pandemics because of warming temperatures and air pollution due to more frequent wildfires, will have significant effects on human life and health.


SONAR SONAR 2019: New emerging risk insights

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