10 Emerging Risks for Insurers and Reinsurers

By Claude Penland, Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society www.ClaudePenland.com

• Aging transportation, water, agriculture, IT and energy infrastructures are each substantial emerging risks.

• Manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale is called nanotechnology. This nanotechnology can cause health risks by particles settling in lungs or brains, as they have in some animal studies. Health risks may include neurological disease, heart disease, cancer and aging.

• Future tempestuous weather in space could affect wireless networks, power grids, satellites, GPS and other systems of navigation.

• The municipal bond market is close to $3 trillion. Due to a confluence of factors, possible municipal bankruptcies are an emerging risk.

• Internet attacks perpetrated against companies, as well as other systems failures, can create financial, regulatory, operational and legal risks.

• Genetic engineering and synthetic biology with regards to food and animals are emerging risks.

• There are close to five billion mobile phones in the world. Long-term human exposure to these electromagnetic fields may be an emerging health risk.

• The potential failure of water flow management systems in Florida and California are emerging risks, especially Lake Okeechobee in Florida and, in California, the Sacramento River, San Joaquin River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

• Pandemics are epidemics of infectious disease which spread through human populations across a large area. Flu pandemics stronger and deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic remain very much possible.

• Extreme weather is all of its various forms are continually emerging risks.

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