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Global marine insurance database concludes pilot

Donald Harrell, IUMI Donald Harrell, IUMI

IUMI (International Union of Maritime Insurance) reports that it has successfully concluded a large loss database pilot project, a proof of concept exercise aiming to demonstrate how the use of a wider range of data on large losses across the marine insurance industry could benefit the sector.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}“For the past year, we have been running a project to understand if it is feasible for IUMI, through its member associations, to collect hull and cargo claims data for large losses. Once collected, we also wanted to understand if it was possible to organise that data in such a way as to deliver meaningful information to marine underwriters,” said Donald Harrell, chair of IUMI’s Facts & Figures committee.

“I am pleased to say that the initial phase of our project has been a success and we now look forward to widening our network of participants and strengthening our database.”

Although IUMI's Facts & Figures committee has overseen the collection of marine insurance information for a number of years, it has not to date been involved in the significant collection of global loss data.

As part of this recent project a small group of IUMI member associations from Belgium, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and Singapore submitted data relevant to individual hull and cargo losses over US$250,000. The Boston Consulting Group (an IUMI Professional Partner) was engaged as an independent party to cleanse the raw data, eliminate inconsistencies and identify trends and conclusions.

IUMI says that, in the close to one year that the project has been running, it has proven that member associations are willing and able to deliver data in a usable format and in sufficient quantity to allow meaningful analysis to be performed and trends to emerge. Global trends on specific causes of losses, or geographic clusters, can then be compared against an underwriter’s own book of business and its activities can be benchmarked against global performance.

“The next step in the process is to widen the network of contributors to include as many IUMI member associations as possible. This is likely to take some time as many do not currently request this data from their own national memberships and will need to implement a process to do so,” said Mr Harrell.

“Working with the Boston Consulting Group, we will create a reporting framework for our members to help standardise the data we expect to receive from an ever-widening constituency. We recognise that our database is a work-in-progress, but we are delighted to have proved the concept and built a solid foundation on which to move forward.”

Data is submitted anonymously, and is only collected from national organisations where members have led on a particular claim to avoid overlap.

In time, IUMI says that it hopes to create a large and consistent loss database (hull and cargo) with standardised data from member companies in order to analyse major losses with respect to loss severity, frequency, location and cause.{/mprestriction}

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