The insurance industry must "redouble" its efforts to maintain relevance in the twenty first century, John Hurrell said in his parting speech as chief executive of Airmic on the opening day of the annual conference.
The need for greater product innovation to match the evolving nature of risks was a key theme in the latter years of Hurrell's nine years as CEO, and a subject on which he has admitted progress has been slow.
"More and more board level risks do not have an insurable solution at the present time," he told delegates. "We recognise that this will require teamwork involving all of us, including buyers, brokers and underwriters but we are seeing positive signs that this shift is taking place."
Hurrell noted that in addition to product innovation, there is growing demand for the provision of specialist unbundled risk services in connection with new and emerging risks such as cyber exposures. "Our members see many of these services being developed by the insurance industry which we see as a very positive development."
Hurrell has also been a leading figure in calling for a greater focus on risk management at board level. Referencing Airmic's in-depth pre-conference survey of its membership, he said there is now clear evidence that risk is firmly a boardroom agenda item and seen as vital for underpinning corporate strategy.
"However, as a profession, we are often seen as being too focused on prevention rather than as a supporter of the business. There appears to be a bit of a vacuum in the corporate space marked 'risk management as a business enabler' which we believe our members can potentially move into."
John Hurrell, former Airmic CEO