Especially people with legal and engineering backgrounds, Allianz Singapore’s Volker Ziegs tells StrategicRISK

This state of affairs has created intense competition for talent and large retention issues, regional manager of long tail claims at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) SE Singapore Branch Volker Ziegs (pictured) has told StrategicRISK.

“The industry needs qualified people for more complex and international claims as the traditional benign claims experience in Asia has changed due to globalisation of Asian companies,” he said.

Ziegs added that that there was a need for insurers to be more proactive in settling claims.

“Complex claims are set to increase given the high accumulation of risks in the modern world,” he told SR.

“Due to the increasing economic activity in Asia, there is a mass accumulation of assets and infrastructure, which give rise to the inter-connectivity of risks, leading to more complex claims.”

Talking to StrategicRISK in relation to a recently released AGCS report, Ziegs pointed out that “buildings are getting taller, bridges longer and supply chains are becoming more vulnerable”.

“It’s all leading to the increasing complexity of claims handling,” he said.

Indeed, the increasingly high values at risk in industrial insurance claims are highlighted in Global Claims Review 2014.

The report identifies the top causes of loss and emerging trends from more than 11,000 major business claims in 148 countries with which it has been involved between 2009 and 2013.

The analysis shows that almost 70% of financial losses arise from 10 causes of loss, with the largest single identified cause being ship groundings, reflecting the high values of modern shipping risks, followed by fires and aviation crashes.

The remainder are: earthquake, storm; bodily injury (including fatalities); flood; professional indemnity; product defects; and machinery breakdown.

The review is part of Allianz’s wider ‘Results for the Customer’ initiative, which aims to go beyond the reporting of financial results to report on the delivery of services and benefits for customers.

It aims to share insights into claims developments and emerging risks, and points out that technology, economic growth, climate change, societal change and the fast developing legal and regulatory framework are all affecting risk and making insurance claims more challenging.

This is evident in a shift away from tangible risks like fire damage towards intangible risks like reputational risk and supply chain interruption.

For property casualty insurance and claims, rising natural catastrophe exposures and climate change, the increasing complexity and interconnectivity of risks, especially for business interruption, and the growing importance of cyber threats will be among the most relevant emerging risk trends to watch, the report suggests.