Best's Review



From the Editor's Desk
Back to the Future

Insurers will be tested in 2020 as they face an uncertain political and economic landscape. Best’s Review speaks with insurance leaders about how to remain relevant in a time of rapid change. Also, Best’s Review examines marine war risk coverage.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • December 2019
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Next month marks the start of a new year and the beginning of the '20s. Last time around, they were Roaring. It's too soon at this point to predict how the next decade will be remembered.

As we look ahead into 2020, events such as the U.S. presidential election have the power to shape perception and influence the political and business environment.

Change has been accelerating, in part due to advances in technology, and that will put the industry to the test, forcing insurers to rethink standard practices and move outside of their comfort zones. Insurers have often been tempted to reduce exposure to uncertain and emerging risk through the use of exclusions. Exclude too much, however, and that may force insureds to question the relevance of the insurance industry.

In the December issue, Best's Review looks at some of the events and challenges facing insurers in 2020.

In “Strategic Planning,” Best's Review speaks with insurance leaders to get their views on how the industry can remain relevant at a time when insurtechs have been raising the bar on customer expectations.

Leaders interviewed include Bill Pieroni, CEO of Acord; Dan Preston, CEO of Metromile; Glenn Shapiro, president of personal lines at Allstate; Bob Reville, CEO of Praedicat; Richie Whitt, co-CEO of Markel; Brooks Tingle, president and CEO of John Hancock Insurance; and Pina Albo, Group CEO at Hamilton Insurance Group.

In “Accelerated Change,” Best's Review looks at some of the top risks listed in Aon's biannual global risk management survey, and the challenges of insurability. Find out which risk moved from No. 38 to No. 3.

In “Shift the Narrative,” James Vickers, chairman of Willis Re International, spoke with AMBestTV at the Global Insurance Forum earlier this year about what the industry needs to do to close the protection gap. “There has to be a fundamental shift in the way that the industry portrays itself to society as a whole and the way that the value of insurance is portrayed,” he said.

Insurers have a clear picture of some of the events on the horizon in 2020—the Olympics in Tokyo beginning in July and the U.S. presidential election in November. The economic outlook, however, is somewhat less clear. In “A Fog of Uncertainty,” Best's Review speaks with asset managers about what to expect. Interest rates remain low and continue to fall. But beyond that, uncertainty is the byword.

In the December issue, Best's Review also examines the market for marine insurance, particularly marine war risk. Rates in the war risk market have been climbing sharply following escalating tensions near the Persian Gulf. War risk policies insure the value of ships damaged or destroyed by acts of invasion, insurrection, rebellion, hijacking and terrorism.

The December issue also includes AM Best's exclusive ranking of top ocean marine, inland marine and fire and allied writers.

To read these and other features go to

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor,

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