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Airmic database covers top 30 countries


Global insurance programs' regulatory compliance has long been a preoccupation of risk managers in the United Kingdom, said Paul Hopkin, technical director of London-based Airmic Ltd., prompting the U.K. risk management association to launch a database of insurance regulations around the world.

The database, developed with London-based information company Axco Insurance Information Services Ltd., launched last week and is available to Airmic members.

It already covers regulations in 30 countries that represent 93% of the world's property/ casualty insurance premium volume. The remaining countries will be added over time.

Mr. Hopkin said making sure insurance programs comply with various countries' regulations has consistently been near the top of U.K. risk managers' concerns. An Airmic study last month again showed the issue is one that “keeps risk managers awake at night,” he said.

Helen Pope, deputy chair of Airmic and head of insurable risk at London-based Tesco P.L.C., said the database is a “potential game-changer.”

“Compliance for global insurance programs will probably never be easy, but the new database will provide risk managers with access to a single, authoritative source they can consult whenever they want,” said Ms. Pope, who is chair-elect of Airmic.

Airmic CEO John Hurrell said the database has taken several years to develop and will be formally launched later this month at Airmic's annual conference in Birmingham, England.

While some insurers and brokerages have developed their own tools, the association said it believes the size of the task of compliance is best handled on a marketwide basis.

While insurers have long understood the importance of compliance, their efforts have been focused largely on ensuring their own compliance with local rules and that they hold the proper licenses, Mr. Hopkin said. For insurance buyers, two additional levels of compliance are needed: that terms of their specific insurance programs and that claims process meet local rules.

The database, known as Insight Risk Manager, has been tailored for insurance buyers, he said.

The database was developed as part of a cross-market project chaired by Airmic and involving insurers, brokers and trade associations. Aon P.L.C., Arthur J Gallagher & Co., Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group P.L.C., Lockton Cos. L.L.C., Marsh L.L.C. and Willis Group Holdings P.L.C. supported the effort.

The Brussels-based Federation of European Risk Management Associations and the New York-based Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. have been kept up to date on developments, Airmic said.