This year, Madrid hosts the 10th Annual International Insurance Conference. Why was Spain chosen?

Every year we ask our members — the national insurance associations — to put forward bids to host the annual conference. The Spanish association, UNESPA, put forward an outstanding bid for 2018 and was therefore chosen to host this year’s conference.

In addition, Spain is one of the leading insurance markets in Europe, accounting for a significant percentage of both premiums and investments. Therefore, we’re really looking forward to the event.

The event is titled: Overcoming Underinsurance. Why did you choose this topic?

Underinsurance is a truly huge, global problem that affects both emerging economies and mature markets. It means that every year millions of people and businesses remain vulnerable and experience hardships that could be reduced or even avoided through insurance protection.

At the conference, we intend to outline the scale of the problem, demonstrate what our industry is already doing to tackle it, and discuss what policymakers can do to address the situation.

Are there any areas where underinsurance is most acute?

When people discuss underinsurance, many will automatically think of natural catastrophes and property insurance. Indeed, this is an area where huge challenges exist.

Both developing and mature economies still suffer from a significant lack of protection at a time when the continued rise in average global temperatures is expected to lead to more frequent and severe natural catastrophes around the world.

However, there are many other areas where under protection is an issue. For example, on pension provision, governments are finding it ever more difficult to provide for their retired citizens, as changes in demographics create huge pressure on pay-as-you-go systems.

Then there are new developments, such as increasingly complex and evolving cyber risks. While insurers are already offering their customers innovative products, a lack of data on cyber-attacks is making it difficult for the cyber insurance market to develop at a faster pace, potentially leaving a growing protection gap.  

These are all topics that will be discussed in greater detail at the conference.

People can register for the conference in insurance Europe website

Can people still register for this year’s conference in Madrid?

Yes. If people haven’t done so already, they can register for the conference here. There are also hotel rooms available at a special rate through Insurance Europe’s website here.

On the day, people can also engage in the discussions on twitter, using the hashtag #InsConf18.

"An excellent opportunity to come together with other stakeholders"

Were there any highlights from previous conferences?

There have been highlights at all our conferences over the last ten years. We have been lucky enough to be hosted by the national insurance associations of many member states, including the UK, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy, Malta, Luxembourg, Ireland and Switzerland.

Every place is special and our hosts have always ensured that the conference has been a truly valuable experience, filled with fascinating discussions. We’ve also been extremely lucky to be able to secure such high-level speakers. These included senior executives from our industry, as well as policymakers and supervisors from around the world.

Why do you think it is important to hold an annual international insurance conference?

Our work is international. So, the conference provides an excellent opportunity for the international insurance industry to come together with a range of other stakeholders — including policymakers, regulators, supervisors and academics — to discuss the most important topics of the day.

In the past, we have covered a wide variety of subjects, including the globalisation of insurance and the digitalisation of our society and how that impacts insurers and their customers.