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    Willis Survey: Financial Lines Insurance Increasingly Important for Companies’ Protection

    London, UK, December 18, 2008 – The majority of attendees at a recent Financial Institutions seminar hosted by Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, believe that financial lines insurance will play a more prominent role in their companies’ protection in the future.

    Of the 40 delegates surveyed by Willis’ Financial and Executive Risks (FINEX) division at the quarterly event, 66 percent said such coverage would become more important.

    The seminar, held at The Willis Building on Lime Street in London, was attended by company secretaries, finance directors, risk managers and insurance buyers from 40 financial institutions. The breakfast briefing covered topics such as the likelihood of increased litigation in the new financial environment, and a review of trends for Professional Indemnity, Directors and Officers Liability and Crime insurance covers for financial institutions.

    Commenting on the findings of the survey, Duncan Holmes, Executive Director of FINEX and co-head of the Willis’ Financial Institutions team, said, "It is not surprising that in the current climate, the delegates are focused on protecting their firms from the heightened operational risks they face. History has shown that in economic downturns, both the incidence of fraud and frequency of liability claims against financial services companies increases. We believe that we will start to see an even greater demand for financial lines insurance from these institutions, and that the insurance market in 2009 will have the cover available to meet our clients’ needs."

    Other survey findings included:

    • Only 22 percent of respondents are looking for increased limits of indemnity as a result of the changing economic environment;
    • More than half of the companies surveyed are expecting financial lines premium increases at the next renewal;
    • Only two companies present would not consider changing their insurers at the next renewal, while 32 percent said that they may look to change insurers;
    • One-third of respondents believe that underwriting capacity will be scarcer in 2009;
    • When asked whether recent litigation was increasing the level of risk for respondents’ companies, a surprising 73 percent of attendees felt that recent litigation was not an indicator of future actions.

    Willis Group Holdings Limited is a leading global insurance broker, developing and delivering professional insurance, reinsurance, risk management, financial and human resource consulting and actuarial services to corporations, public entities and institutions around the world. Willis has more than 400 offices in nearly 120 countries, with a global team of approximately 20,000 Associates serving clients in some 190 countries. Additional information on Willis may be found at www.willis.com.

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