Best's Review


From the Editor’s Desk
After Year Two of COVID, Insurers Look Ahead to New Challenges

The December issue also includes Best’s Review’s annual listing of top auditors and actuaries as well as coverage of the marine insurance sector.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • December 2021

As the second year of the pandemic winds down, insurers have weathered a number of storms.

It was a year of COVID-19 legal disputes and COVID-19 losses for life insurers. Other top stories for insurers included losses from natural catastrophes such as Hurricane Ida, winter storms, California wildfires and European flooding; cyberattacks, such as the Solar Winds hack and the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, also were issues in 2021.

Emerging issues now include port congestion and its subsequent impact on the supply chain, as well as concerns about inflation and what that might mean for investments and claims costs. Cyberrisk, meanwhile, remains an ongoing concern.

In “The View to 2022: Insurers Face New Year With Cautious Optimism,” Best's Review speaks with industry experts about the key issues for the industry in the coming year.

Eugenie Molyneux, chief risk officer of commercial insurance at Zurich Insurance Group, believes the issues surrounding the pandemic appear to be “more settled” than they were a year ago and vaccines should reduce the risk associated with COVID-19 in the near future.

“It's dependent on whether we see another variant develop and whether that variant is resistant to the vaccine or not,” she said. “So for COVID—the jury's out, but at the moment, at least, it feels like that might be dissipating as a source of disruption.”

The December issue also features Best's Review's annual listing of the industry's top auditors and actuaries.

The special section also includes an interview with Jennifer L. Gillespie, the president and chair of the Society of Actuaries.

Marine insurance is also a focus in the December issue. December is Goods and Cargo Awareness month and AM Best presents its exclusive ranking of the top U.S. ocean marine, inland marine and fire and allied writers.

In “Clogged Supply Chains Complicate Risk Concerns for Ocean Marine Insurers,” Best's Review examines the problems facing ocean marine insurers as a result of the backup at the ports as well as the blockage at the Suez Canal earlier this year.

One of the big uncertainties looming for 2022 is inflation as many signs are pointing to its increase.

In “Insurers Confront Inflation for the First Time in Ages,” Best's Review speaks with industry experts about the potential for inflation to remain a problem in 2022.

In the life insurance sector, Best's Review takes a look at a startup called Wysh Life and Health Insurance Co., an independently run subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.

The 2021 edition of AM Best's Guide to Understanding the Insurance Industry is available on Amazon. The guide is an easy-to-follow introduction to the insurance industry for students, new employees, prospects and those who would like to learn more about the industry.

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor,

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