2022 insurance industry forecast: trends and future risks

2021 saw the insurance industry grapple with a multitude of challenges including pandemic impacts, disruptive technology and climate related risks. As we move into 2022, we expect to see a continuation of those challenges. Adapting to new technologies and achieving net-zero will be central to the insurance agenda, to which we add the shifting geopolitical landscape.

Foreword

Resilience will be the overarching theme for 2022. However, whilst last year necessitated a faster pace of change than was perhaps ideal, looking forward, insurers will want to continue to adapt to protect their operations, market and promote customer retention.

Customer demand for more interactive and efficient digital platforms and products is set to continue, which will require insurers’ ongoing adaption to new technologies. With that will likely come associated cyber risks, with ransomware and supply chain attacks continuing to rise. However, digital transformation remains essential for insurers wanting to stay relevant, competitive and reputationally sound in the current market.

The increased examination of insurers’ own Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments will be a priority for firms as they wait to see how moving from voluntary to mandatory disclosure requirements plays out. Notwithstanding the shifting regulatory landscape, insurers – like most companies – know that it is probably only a matter of time before regulators or the general public discover any discrepancies in ESG promises, putting reputations at risk.

Geopolitical impacts remain a major concern to global governments and business. Post-Brexit negotiations continue into 2022 as agreements around both goods and services remain unresolved. Concern over future state conflicts remain high with physical, cyber and trade impacts following sanctions looming large; the current tensions between Russian and the Ukraine highlight the reach of these disputes.

Against this background, we highlight some key legal and regulatory developments, and provide an overview of 10 business critical topics that insurers and corporates should consider as they plan for operational resilience in 2022.

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Legal and regulatory 

2021 saw the UK courts grapple with pandemic related issues - not least the FCA test case - as well as an increase in group actions and ESG related litigation. These trends look set to continue in 2022.

These issues were reflected in the legislative and regulatory programme, along with a focus on post-Brexit reforms, which we have explored across two topic groups:

Legal landscape 

Regulatory and legislative developments

 

Key topics to watch in 2022

Here, we explore the 10 business critical topics that insurers and corporates should consider as part of their operational resilience plans for 2022. 

These have broken down into four main topic groups:

Political landscape

  • Brexit
  • Geopolitical risk
  • Supply chain

Societal issues

  • Future pandemic risk
  • Social inflation

Technology

  • Role of technology
  • Cyber events

Legal and Regulatory

  • Regulatory expectations on firms
  • Remote justice
  • Group actions
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