Blog 30: Impact of Covid-19 on the General Insurance Industry by Xavier Lo, FIA, FRM, MBA

Its been a bit over a year since the WHO [世衛] declared covid-19 [新冠肺炎] a pandemic [大流行病]. Lets explore the impacts on General Insurance [非人壽保險]. As this topic is very international, I’ve asked for the input of @inspiring_actuaries with this post. Do check her page out!

From a personal insurance [個人保險]point of view, we generally observe big drops in the number of car crashes (probably less people going out). However, when a crash happens, they seem to be more severe – which is some evidence that people are driving faster as there are less cars on the road. We also see less insurance claims happening at home [家居保] – when people are at home all the time, thieves steal less, fires or floods are dealt with quickly, and people have more time to repair faults (which could have lead to accidents). Obviously, we also see a huge reduction in travel insurance [旅遊保]volumes.

Commercially, there have been fewer Employee’s Compensation [員工保] claims (more companies shutting down or furloughing employees) and property damage [財產保] claims (less people out and about). However, on the flip side, we get more Event Cancellations [活動取消] and Non-Damage Business Interruption claims. Business Interruption [商業中斷] is normally coupled with Property Damage. With the pandemic though, lots of companies are now realising that this is not only the case, and the GI industry has had to really focus the past year on clarifying their policy wordings [條款細節] so that they don’t get into court cases over whether or not insurers are liable.

I’m not saying the pandemic is great. However, there have been some silver linings in the GI industry, and insurers now have to get used to operating in the new normal. That’s why even as seasoned actuaries, we have to keep our minds sharp, be open to new ideas, and never stop learning – so that we can adapt to any situation!

Xavier Lo, FIA, FRM, MBA
Qualified fellow actuary (in UK and Hong Kong), Financial Risk Manager, and MBA graduate (listed on the Dean's List) with a passion for insurance, data science, and analytics. Experienced in a broad range of insurance roles (pricing, capital modelling, reserving, ERM), along with a touch of knowledge in banking. Member of the General Insurance Committee (2021), Actuarial Innovation Committee (2019 - 2021) in ASHK.
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