2019: A Year in Risk Review

2019: A Year in Risk Review
Each trip around the sun brings its own set of challenges, opportunities, successes and stories that will be told for years to come. And 2019 was no different. For the insurance industry, it was 365 days filled with risks and rewards.
Here’s a look at five important insurance risk trends that affected the industry during 2019:

1. Property and Casualty Continued to Impress
The United States is the largest insurance market in the world, and it’s engine is the property and casualty sector. P&C, as it’s known, has delivered impressive returns for insurance companies over the past two years thanks to double-digit premium growth, lower catastrophe losses and better auto markets.

In 2018, the sector grew a whopping 66 percent to $60 billion. It continued to grow in 2019, delivering an impressive underwriting gain of $5.4 billion during the first half of 2019.

Year-end numbers aren’t in yet, but according to Insurance Business Magazine, it looks like the C&P sector was set to deliver another impressive year.

2. Cyber Risk Continued to Grow
Insurance industry professionals have known for a long time that cyber crime is quickly becoming a worldwide scourge, which can present opportunities for growth.

According to an article in Cyber crime Magazine, cyberattacks continued to grow in 2019 and expanded into new industries: Digital ad fraud rose sharply and cost advertisers around $19 billion.

And it’s not expected to slow down any time soon. Experts say that by 2021, damages from cyber crime will cost the world’s economy more than $6 trillion a year, which is a bigger insurance risk than the damage caused by natural disasters.

3. The Industry Turned to Data-driven Decision making
Insurance industry professionals have always used technology to collect copious amounts of
data, but they haven’t always been all that effective at using it to inform their decisions.

That began to change in 2019.

Data-driven decision making is becoming an industry norm as insurance companies began to invest more heavily in tools that help them analyze, understand and use data to make decisions about insurance risk.

4. Good Help was Hard to Find
Like most other industries in the United States, the insurance industry was faced with a labor shortage in 2019, with an unemployment rate that was just 1.7 percent.

Yes, good help was hard to find last year.

And it doesn’t appear as if that trend is going to change any time soon. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for insurance sales agents is expected to grow by 10 percent between now and 2028 T/hat’s faster than the average for all other occupations.

Obviously it’s a different type of insurance risk, but not being able to fill key positions could be a major problem for the industry moving forward.

5. Natural Disasters Wreaked Havoc on the Industry
Tornados, hurricanes, floods, mudslides and other types of natural disasters are becoming more common across the country and around the world.

And 2019 certainly saw its fair share.

These disasters wreaked havoc on the insurance industry. During the first half of 2019, more than $19 billion in damages was covered by insurance. By the end of the year, that number grew exponentially.

Make 2020 a Great Year
Now that you’ve turned the calendar page on another year, it’s time to plan for 2020 and beyond. If you are looking for a partner that understands emerging risks, connect with Insurance Risk Services today.