New Swiss Re SONAR report investigates emerging risks for the insurance industry


  • SONAR report highlights 26 new emerging risks from an insurance perspective;
  • Report looks at impact of such potential issues as cloud computing security or the way that air pollution affects mortality trends;
  • Report draws on both Swiss Re’s own expertise and partner initiatives.

Zurich (July 9, 2014) – Swiss Re has published “New emerging risk insights(PDF) – this publication is based on Swiss Re’s SONAR process, a unique tool which uses Swiss Re’s internal risk management expertise to observe and evaluate new and emerging risks. It also draws on other sources such as the Chief Risk Officer Forums’ Emerging Risk Initiative.

Today’s risk landscape is changing fast, driven by new economic, technological, socio-political, regulatory and environmental developments. The risks that emerge from these changes are often difficult to quantify, but they may have a major impact on society and the insurance industry, across all lines of business. This makes a systematic observation of the risks and a dialogue between insurers critical to the industry.

David Cole, Swiss Re’s Group Chief Risk Officer, says: “By sharing our findings we hope to raise awareness of emerging risks. The future is not a simple linear extrapolation of the past. Rather it is characterized by rapid and continuous change, thus looking back and extrapolating past experiences into the future is not sufficient to assess tomorrow’s exposure.”

The report discusses a wide variety of emerging risks relevant to both life and non-life insurance areas. Examples from this year’s report are cloud computing security, the effect of air pollution on mortality trends, concussion crisis in sports or the threat posed by new pathogens to rubber production. Many of those topics could have cascading effects across areas and lines of business.

About Swiss Re

The Swiss Re Group is a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. Dealing direct and working through brokers, its global client base consists of insurance companies, mid-to-large-sized corporations and public sector clients. From standard products to tailor-made coverage across all lines of business, Swiss Re deploys its capital strength, expertise and innovation power to enable the risk-taking upon which enterprise and progress in society depend. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863, Swiss Re serves clients through a network of over 60 offices globally and is rated “AA-” by Standard & Poor’s, “Aa3” by Moody’s, and “A+” by A.M. Best. Registered shares in the Swiss Re Group holding company, Swiss Re Ltd, are listed in accordance with the Main Standard on the SIX Swiss Exchange and trade under the symbol SREN. For more information about Swiss Re Group, please visit

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