The Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management (ICRM) was launched by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in January 2010 with a vision to become Asia’s leading research institute in catastrophe risk modeling and management. Over the years, ICRM has conducted eight Annual International Symposia on important topics including food and water security and climate change, black swan events, extreme events in Asia Pacific, financing natural catastrophes in Asia, public-private partnership in managing catastrophe events, mega-cities of Asia and their evolving risks, and most recently addressing the gap of natural catastrophe data in Southeast Asia through the Natural Catastrophe Data Analytics Exchange (NatCatDAX) Initiative in 2017. This Ninth Annual Symposium will build upon recent symposia insights that have focused on data and the NatCatDAX Initiative. The Ninth Symposium theme is:

Closing the Protection Gaps – Challenges and Opportunities

This theme is strongly motivated by Asia’s need to close the natural catastrophe protection gap and to find mechanisms to ensure that the recent Asian prosperity gains are not set back by the economic and social disruptions that natural disasters can bring. Under Asia’s typical environment of low insurance penetration, we see four enabling levers for such mechanisms which are: technology and data, product innovation, research and development, and an interested and engaged ASEAN market. Such levers will also greatly facilitate a significantly bigger role of insurance / reinsurance towards reducing the financial impact of natural disasters and improving disaster resilience in Southeast Asia.

The Ninth ICRM Annual Symposium will evolve along several overlapping and interacting subthemes addressing:

  • What is our current understanding of the gap between insured and uninsured economic losses? This gap is hugely driven by concentration of assets and people into megacities located in catastrophe exposed zones with a similar trend developing for industrial clusters. For example, it has been reported that flooding and storms in Asia caused well over USD 10 billion of economic losses during the month of July 2017 only.

  • Increasing the use of parametric risk transfer insurance products – can we take stock of what the emerging opportunities and challenges exist in developing and implementing such products? Typically, parametric risk products take the form of risk pools and catastrophe bonds, for which the NatCatDAX Initiative can assist towards developing robust exposure and loss data. Progress is being made in activating the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF) as a regional catastrophe risk pool. Furthermore, regional and international insurers have launched pilot schemes to introduce parametric insurance products in the region. However further advancement of such parametric products requires coordination and cooperation with national governments, sub-sovereign and non-governmental organizations. How can academic institutions such as ICRM and the industry help?

  • Developing new parametric products – What are the challenges in risk modeling and minimization of the basis risk requiring access to robust exposure and loss data? How can product deployment technologies help minimize the costs of distribution and disbursement of the pay-outs? What are the current advancements in remote sensing technologies, financial technologies & engineering, and InsurTech?

Renowned speakers from the re/insurance industry, regulators, governments, international organizations, modeling agencies, and research institutions will be invited to share their experiences, ambitions, and goals towards measurable reduction of the Protection Gap. The sessions will also facilitate productive discussions with the delegates via panel discussions. We hope that a key outcome of the Symposium is to help spur collective action toward narrowing of the Protection Gap, and we invite your participation and contribution towards this effort.

We look forward to welcoming you at our Ninth ICRM Symposium 2018 in Singapore.

Professor PAN Tso-Chien
Executive Director
Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management
Nanyang Technological University,