AM BestTV: Climate Change, Interest Rates, Social Inflation Challenge Insurers

In this episode of AMBestTV from the Insurance Information Institutes Joint Industry Forum in New York, executives discuss what they view as the leading challenges insurers will face in 2020 and beyond, including the impact of rising jury verdicts and closing the protection gap. Click on to view the entire program.

David Sampson, president and CEO of the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, said bending the trend line on social inflation is the top issue that is concerning insurance companies.

Virtually every publicly traded company in their quarterly earnings reports in 2019 talked about the terrible impact that runaway litigation is having on the industry, said Sampson. This is something that I think is truly a macro-strategic challenge in 2020.

Other attendees at the forum discussed how insurers should take a leading role in tackling climate change.

Theres a lot of discussion around climate change and how that is impacting losses, and insurers can take a very strong position, Steve Clarke, vice president of government relations at ISO. The industry is uniquely positioned, because as economic first responders they have skin in the game, and need to be a part of that conversation.

Keith Wolfe, president of U.S. property/casualty, Swiss Re, said a renewed focus on the unending depressed yield curve is needed, as it continues to affect the profitability of the reinsurance and insurance industries significantly.

I dont think theres a full appreciation for how severe that problem has become, said Wolfe.

Other people that appear in this episode:

  • Sean Kevelighan, president and CEO, Insurance Information Institute;
  • Gary Grose, executive vice president, Argo Group; and
  • Francis Bouchard, group head of public affairs and sustainability, Zurich Insurance Co.

Full-length interviews from the Joint Industry Forum is available under the Interviews tab at

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