Times are difficult but no need for despair, was the message from Tore Forsmo, Area Manager, Team Norway at The Swedish Club and Vice Chair IUMI, speaking at the Marine Insurance Nordics conference held in Oslo this week.
Asked to assess the status of the Nordic Marine Insurance Market, and warnings of a perfect storm, Forsmo addressed the main challenges in the industry and offered some hope to the sector moving forward.
He said: “Two of the main challenges in our industry going forward will be how we deal with inflation and financial performance – let’s face it, we are a capital- intensive industry and that capital has to give a return. In reality, however, once operational factors are under control, the main uncertainties and challenges we face today are simply related to the world we live in – and it seems to me that the world right now is maybe in its most critical period since WWII.”
He acknowledged that both geopolitics and economics are currently creating an unpredictable immediate future. However, he pointed to a positive outlook:
“There has been a powerful concurrence of negative factors lately, especially in P&I, but at the end of the day, given these uncertainties, the Nordic marine insurance market is as well positioned as any to face and overcome our immediate challenges.”
Mr Forsmo predicted a fairly stable outlook for the H&M market in the short term but was slightly more pessimistic for the P&I sector. “We have to look at the impact of inflation and of the under-pricing that the market has seen for some time,” he said. “There are still some covid impacts on both the previous and the current P&I year, and of course we are seeing volatility and uncertainty in all global markets as a result of the war in Ukraine.
“On the plus side, however, there is light at the end of the tunnel, with pool claims looking to buck the trend we have seen over the last few years.”
Indeed, as Tore Forsmo reassured the audience: “There is no perfect storm in Nordic marine insurance, neither premium- nor claims-wise, whether H&M or P&I.”