Preparing for tomorrow’s risks means reflecting and taking actions on them today. That is why AXA surveys employees worldwide every year to identify the most important emerging risks for the next 5 to 10 years.
Insurance is about preventing adverse outcomes and protecting customers against risks. In order to carry out this mission to the best of their abilities, insurers need to understand and prepare for the risks we will face in the years ahead. Hélène Chauveau, head of the Emerging Risks department at AXA, defines these risks as “newly developing or changing risks that are generally characterized by major uncertainty”. This uncertainty is “partly derived from the lack of historical data that characterizes them, but also from scientific-technological, socio-political or regulatory changes that can create discontinuities in their evolution”, she continues.
In this context, how can insurers study and categorize these potential threats, as “there are hundreds of potential emerging risks, often characterized by a lack of consensus on their potential impact”? Since 2014, Hélène and her team have set up and managed the Emerging Risk Survey. By polling over a thousand group employees across the globe, as well as a network of scientists, the survey targets experts with diverse backgrounds, cultures and skills in order to compile a comprehensive picture of emerging risks. This year’s results have shown a predominance of environmental risks (climate change, natural resources) and technology changes (e.g. the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cyber risk), in addition to financial uncertainty… Analysis below.