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Phoenix CRetro Reinsurance Company chief executive Kirill K Savrassov says as huge investments are being poured into the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) across Asia and Europe, introduction of catastrophe bonds can take the risk off the government balance sheets and reinforce macro-economic stability while providing access to rapid recovery funding.

The day I was writing this article, an earthquake measuring 5.8 magnitude shook Istanbul, causing panic amongst residents, evacuation of schools and public offices. It also led to the collapse of the minaret of a mosque in Turkey’s most populous city with more than 15m residents.

The Turkish quake happened during the same week in which another 5.8 magnitude quake event in north-eastern Pakistan killed 38 people and injured more than 700. It also caused extensive damage to infrastructure and roads in that region of Pakistan.

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As investments into China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) increase, Kirill Savrassov, CEO of Phoenix CRetro Reinsurance Company, told Baden-Baden Today that it represents big opportunities and challenges for the reinsurance industry, especially from a cat perspective.

He said the project, led by China and sometimes described as a multibillion dollar rebirth of the Silk Road, offers a key opportunity in exponential demand in additional cat capacity from local BRI transit markets.

However, he flagged potential challenges, saying: “I would note state ownership of critical infrastructure, low insurance penetration—below 2 or even 1.5 percent— with general underdevelopment of local markets in BRI transit countries, and existing and potential protectionism in re/insurance.”

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China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the economic project which aims to recreate the ancient Silk Road that linked Europe to Asia, needs protecting. ILS could provide the perfect solution, as Kirill K. Savrassov, chief executive of Phoenix CRetro Reinsurance Company, tells Bermuda:Re+ILS.

In September a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook Istanbul, triggering the evacuation of schools and public buildings and damaging buildings. The same week, a 5.8 magnitude event killed 38 people and caused massive damage to infrastructure and roads in north-eastern Pakistan.

For Turkey it represented a stark reminder of how bad these events can be. In 1999, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in the western part of the country killed more than 17,000 people.

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Parametric triggers, coupled with increasingly granular data and technology, can “expand the limits of insurability” according to Swiss Re, especially when it comes to non-physical damage business interruption (NDBI).

Innovation continues to deliver on new ways to mitigate risks, Swiss Re said in a recent report.

These innovations are enabling better management of risk, greater ability to transfer those risks, and even in some cases making the previously uninsurable insurable.

For global insurance and reinsurance players, investments in initiatives that can help to unlock new risk categories and classes of business are seen as key strategic priorities right now.

We’re all in on ILS, because it’s the future: Markel Co-CEO Whitt

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Speaking yesterday to an audience at the InsureTech Connect conference in Las Vegas, Markel Co-CEO Richard Whitt explained that his company is going all in on insurance-linked securities (ILS).

Richard R. Whitt, III, one of the Co-Chief Executive Officer’s of insurance and reinsurance group Markel Corporation, explained that alongside the technological trends the conference is focused on, he sees insurance-linked securities (ILS) as another key development that will shape the future of risk markets.

Technology and insurance-linked securities (ILS) together can reshape risk markets, delivering more effective risk analysis and channelling the most efficient capital to the most appropriate risks more seamlessly and efficiently, something we’ve been banging on about for a number of years now.

Parametric ILS “vital” to reduce protection gaps, increase resilience: Mark Carney, Bank of England

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Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, discussed the role of insurance and reinsurance technology as an essential financial took to smooth the world’s transition to a 1.5 degree world and highlighted the role of insurance-linked securities (ILS) within that.

Speaking on Sunday in New York, on the sidelines of the Climate Action Summit held at the United Nations, Carney said that the insurance and reinsurance sectors role in responding to climate change is “crucial” and can be “decisive.”

The Governor of the Bank of England explained that the re/insurance market brings three valuable traits with it, expertise, money and a perspective on climate related risks, which are all “crucial in helping society adjust to the reality of that transition.”

Hudson Structured raises $300m from Indiana & Maryland state pensions

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Hudson Structured Capital Management Ltd., the insurance-linked securities (ILS), reinsurance and transportation focused investment manager that undertakes its insurance investment business as HSCM Bermuda, has raised new capital from two U.S. state retirement system pension funds in recent months.

According to documents from board of trustee meetings held by the Indiana Public Retirement System and the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, both of the pension investors have selected Hudson Structured to manage some of their ILS and reinsurance linked investments for them.

ILS and reinsurance as an asset class is becoming increasingly main-stream for the large U.S. state retirement systems and pension funds, with allocations steadily increasing from these large institutional investors.

IDF members commit $5bn of capacity to support InsuResilience goals

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Members of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF) have committed to provide up to US $5 billion of risk capacity to support delivery of the InsuResilience Vision 2025 goals, while the United Nations and other sovereign actors have committed to extending climate and disaster insurance to 500 million.

Announced yesterday in New York ahead of the UN Climate Summit for Action, the United Nations, Germany, the United Kingdom and stakeholders from the insurance and reinsurance industry announced new commitments to increase insurance protection in climate exposed countries of the world.

The goal is to increase climate change resilience for the most vulnerable countries through the use of risk modelling, risk management and disaster risk insurance and reinsurance techniques.

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Bangladesh could benefit from the use of insurance and reinsurance structures including catastrophe bonds as a way to secure much needed capacity enabling it to better respond to natural disasters and climate related risks, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Having completed a new economic assessment of the country, the IMF says that Bangladesh is making progress in reducing poverty, improving access to education and in delivering other development goals, but there is an overarching threat to the country posed by extreme weather and climate change.

Bangladesh is considered one of the countries most exposed to climate change related risks, with as much as one-third of the population at risk of displacement if sea levels rise.

SCOR may front for ILS funds: Conoscente

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Speaking to Artemis from the SCOR lounge in Monte Carlo, Jean-Paul Conoscente, chief executive of SCOR Global P&C, outlined the company’s ambitious plans to place ILS at the heart of the business.

He said the reinsurers remained “nimble”, giving the reinsurer the ability to innovate.

SCOR’s latest strategic plan – Quantum Leap – plans to more closely align SCOR Global P&C’s reinsurance underwriting unit and SCOR Investment Partners.