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Deglobalization, 'Internet of things' hold unknown risks for insurers

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Deglobalization and “challenges of the Internet of things” were two risks ranked to have a potential “high” impact over time for insurers and reinsurers in a new report by Swiss Re Ltd., the company said Wednesday in a statement.

Swiss Re's “New emerging risk insights” looks at 21 emerging risks for insurers and reinsurers. Political conflict and large natural catastrophes are two more of the risks identified in the report published Wednesday.

The publication is based on the Systematic Observation of Notions Associated with Risk process, a crowdsourcing tool drawing on Swiss Re's internal risk management expertise to identify and evaluate new threats, the company said in its statement.

Brazilian drought, Australian and U.S. wildfires and rising pandemic risk were rated as having a potential “medium” impact.

The report also identified several “Macro Trends” for 2015 in the areas of “competitive & business environment” and “social environment”, such as insourcing of reinsurance risks by primary insurers & increasing supply of alternative capital for reinsurance solutions.

“In a future in which change is the only constant, foresight information is crucial to prepare for tomorrow's challenges. This report seeks to provide an early indication of what might lurk beyond the horizon,” Patrick Raaflaub, Swiss Re's group chief risk officer, said in the statement.