“Unprecedented, but not unexpected” – Autumn Update 2022

‘Unprecedented, but not unexpected’. This is perhaps the best way to describe this summer’s record losses across North America – and reflects the thrust of discussions at our annual Advisory Council meeting a couple of weeks ago.

For, while we are collectively grappling with the ‘perfect storm’ of extreme weather, supply chain and geopolitical issues, nobody with an eye on the trajectory of the renewables insurance market can truly claim to be surprised by the impact of these trends on the frequency and severity of claims.

GCube’s Advisory Council is an important date in our calendar, and we’d like to thank everyone that contributed. The collaboration and innovation we share among our network is a fundamental facet of the value we deliver to our clients, and, we’d argue, to the renewable energy insurance space.

Since our last newsletter, distributed alongside our Supply Another Day insights report in May, there’s been a lot going on – both for GCube and the renewables sector.

Supply chain disruption and rising inflation continue to plague the industry and present unique challenges. Recent weather events across Europe and North America, including the recent Hurricane Ian, have also reinforced the need to constantly revaluate the risks that extreme weather presents.

North America has proven to be a particularly challenging market in terms of rising claims. GCube has assessed an unprecedented increase in concerning claims in the region, and today we release our North American Nat Cat Update, tracking those trends and providing key recommendations to our clients and brokers.

As you’ll agree, the vast organic growth potential of renewable energy is generating strategic competition within the insurance market. This is most evident with new entrants in the space wanting to roll back terms or improvements in pricing to try and gain market share to fulfil ESG budgets.

GCube’s stance is and always has been different to this. We need to remain committed to educating the market on sector challenges. We believe in the longer term that looks beyond the next quarter or financial year and are committed to providing a best-in-class service on both underwriting and claims, and ensuring we attract and retain highly talented people. This undertaking does not always come at the cheapest price but it’s the most sustainable for the industry over the longer term.

The surge of new market entrants, and the pressure this is placing on wordings, reminds us of the past challenges faced and enables us to reflect on the future directions that industry may take.

As we look forward to the rest of 2022, and indeed further ahead from there, GCube remains optimistic about the level of profitability that has been achieved across the industry in the last few years, and we remain determined to not fall back to the depths of 2016-2019, where many were asking if the renewable energy insurance class would survive.

Evolving risks continue to present new challenges, and GCube has worked to bolster its expertise and global presence over recent months. Throughout June and July, the company made several new hires across its North American claims and underwriting teams and expanded its presence in Houston. Our Texas office will be led by our most recent senior appointment Sarah Bratton.

Houston was just one of the many steps we’ve taken to expand our presence globally. Following new office openings in Spain and Australia this year, GCube’s UK headquarters also moved to a bigger location on the 6th floor of the Walkie Talkie building, 20 Fenchurch Street. Our ongoing expansion continues to reflect the strength and growth of our company.

Alongside Sarah Bratton, GCube recently promoted Josh Shimali, who has been with the business for over a decade, to Head of Onshore Underwriting and recruited Olly Litterick as Head of London Market Underwriting. The pair will operate out of GCube’s new UK headquarters and reflect how GCube continues to hire and train the best talent in the industry.

New, talented graduates also continue to want to join GCube and are entering the business from our parent company’s Accelerate Programme. I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank our new joiners and those that have stepped up into more senior positions. You’re already making significant contributions to the company and have made 2022 a pinnacle year for GCube.

Throughout the remainder of this year, we’re looking forward to doubling down on our key priorities and helping address the industry’s unique and ongoing challenges. This means further opportunities to create value for our insureds, leadership development for our team members and bringing our network together for discussions and debates on the latest insurance trends.

We now stand at a pivotal moment in the renewables business, with opportunities for growth waiting to be seized upon at every corner.