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U.S. and U.K. risk manager opinion divided: Study


U.S. and U.K. risk managers' concerns are sharply divided, despite both experiencing a soft market and sharing a willingness to retain more of their own risk, according to a study by London-based insurance broker Miller Insurance Services Ltd.

Almost a quarter, 24%, of U.S. risk managers and 17% of U.K. risk mangers plan to increase their retention levels over the course of the next year in a bid to ride the cycle out, according to a survey conducted by Miller at the recent Assn. of Insurance and Risk Managers and Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.'s conferences held in London and New Orleans, respectively.

But beyond this, there is a significant divergence in opinions, Miller found.

More than half, 58%, of U.K. risk managers think carbon emissions are a boardroom risk consideration, compared with just 7% of U.S. risk managers. In a statement, Miller said that the survey found, "there is uncertainty about the role of insurance to cover this risk, suggesting that further understanding and clarity about this issue would be welcome."

Another area where views differ is in relation to supply-chain disruption insurance, where 82% of U.K. respondents see it as an important product — twice the proportion of U.S. risk mangers who considered the coverage important.

Moreover, despite the efforts of former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who launched a high-profile investigation into insurance broking practices, just over a third of U.K. risk managers think his effect has been positive, and over half of U.S. risk managers think that savings made from stopping contingent commission arrangements are not being passed onto the buyer.

Other areas of difference included political risk insurance which 22% of U.S. risk managers think is important, compared with 69% of U.K. risk managers, and trade credit insurance which is highly rated by 49% of U.K. risk managers compared with 12% of U.S. risk managers, according to the study.