Insurance industry struggles to cope with ERM implementation

While 100% of respondents agreed ERM was a board priority, 36% said it was not fully integrated into the strategic decision-making process.

The survey, the first of its kind conducted by PWC, questioned board members from 44 leading insurance companies from Asia, Europe and North America. Of these, 27 companies operate in life, 12 in property and casualty and five in reinsurance.

Andrew Stoker, director in the actuarial practice at PWC, said the results showed there was a consensus emerging on how ERM principles should be implemented. Among these principles was the establishment of risk committees and officers reporting directly to the board, and a clearly defined company risk appetite that is understood throughout the organisation.

Worryingly for the industry, 21% of respondents disagreed that common risk terminology and processes are well understood; while 17% said there were no systems in place to allow information to support risk management objectives.

Stoker said the industry is still some way behind the banks in ERM, but added that the signs were positive and insurers are catching up.

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