Simon Morgan

Storm warning.

This year, the US was buffeted by two of the most powerful storms ever to hit it. Both wreaked havoc, but while Hurricane Florence was a slow-moving, weak storm that dumped apocalyptic amounts of rain on the Carolinas, Hurricane Michael was fast and strong, pushing a high wall of water that broke along the Florida coast. Both emphatically illustrated how, when it comes to hurricanes, flooding could be as damaging as high winds. Two very different storms, the same devastating outcome: misery for thousands of people.

In this issue of Hiscox Global Insight we look at the implications of the two storms on the perception of flood risk in the US – particularly in places that previously had not been regarded as particularly prone to the threat – and whether the limitations and continuing uncertainty over the federal flood insurance scheme, the NFIP, may prompt more homeowners to look for cover elsewhere from future storms.

Also, we look at how a recent court ruling on supermarket chain Morrison’s liability for a malicious data leak could have profound consequences on British businesses. In the wake of the food safety scare in Australia over needles found in strawberries, we ask why the country is so prone to food tampering episodes and what is the psychology of those who commit such crimes.

With the oil rush now starting to wind down we investigate how decommissioning aging platforms is the new, but very risky, boom business in that sector. Also, how a growing backlash against corruption in countries around the world could catch out some companies that don’t take the risk of bribery seriously enough. Keith Bookless, our contract wordings expert, explains how a missing word in an insurance contract came to cost one insurer nearly $1 billion.

We take 60 seconds out of the busy working life of Andy Lewis, our Lead Cyber Underwriter, to talk about his love of a particular London football team and the dangers of “coverage creep”. We also get an appreciation for the old-school pleasures of slow photography, while Bobby Read veers off the well-worn global wine track to taste some wines from unexpected places.

It’s a bumper Christmas issue. I hope you enjoy reading these pieces as much as we have in putting them together and that they offer some insights in to the new risks facing our market in the New Year. I look forward to exploring new opportunities together in 2019.