Industry must educate clients about how insurance works, Peter Jackson tells StrategicRISK

The insurance programmes of firms operating in Asia are too often focused on remote physical risks, rather than intangible risks that are far more immediate, Jackson told SR soon after it was announced that he had been appointed CEO of Lockton Companies Singapore.

Jackson, who has been in Singapore since 2012 as Lockton’s head of multinational clients in Asia, said his aim now was to “help clients understand the most pressing risks for their business”.

“I think that an industry-wide challenge is educating clients about how insurance works and the types of cover that is now available to help them protect their business,” he said.

Jackson added that it was about making insurance relevant to clients’ needs.

“Too often it’s seen as a commodity purchase based on price without a full appreciation of how insurance protects a client’s balance sheet,” he said.

As Jackson told SR recently, one of the biggest changes for businesses operating in Asia in recent times has been the increasing breadth and depth of the supply chain.

“Large-scale infrastructure projects are increasingly becoming cross-border in nature,” he said.

“Chinese, Middle Eastern, and European investors are now taking an active role in major projects, such as in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE). The money involved is staggering – some $30 billion for that project alone.

“Businesses want their investments protected. Regional disputes and social and political volatility are, of course, areas for concern. There is a lot at stake.”

Political risk insurance, Jackson said, was now becoming a ‘must-have’ feature of a risk infrastructure.

“It’s hard to relocate a hydro dam if things start to go wrong… and no one enjoys having to explain to a board of directors how and why your factory or aluminium smelter just got nationalised,” he said.