Insurance Punches Above Its Weight in Bermuda
By Jeff Dunsavage, Senior Research Analyst, Triple-I (10/14/2022)
Imagine you’re riding in a taxi and the driver understands the duties of an actuary.
That happens in Bermuda, apparently.
There is a strong local dedication to the insurance community, says John Huff, CEO of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR), in a new Executive Exchange conversation with Triple-I CEO Sean Kevelighan. ABIR represents Bermuda’s major property and casualty insurers and reinsurers doing business in 150 countries.
“People here are very much embedded in global events and how they may impact the industry,” Huff says, but it wasn’t always this way.
Once upon a time, Bermudians might have made up 2-3 percent of the industry’s workforce there. They were bookkeepers or receptionists or people working in the mail room. The supply of insurance talent on Bermuda’s 21 square miles with just 65,000 residents has been cultivated over about 30 years, making the island an internationally recognized center of global underwriting expertise for catastrophe, climate, cyber, mortgage, and credit risk transfer products, along with other specialty insurance and reinsurance.
“Today we are so proud that ABIR members have about 70 percent of their local workforce who are Bermudians, or spouses of Bermudians,” Huff says.
Moreover, with Bermuda being a Black-majority country, the insurance and reinsurance industry already is quite diverse. These companies are working in concert to expand the pool of qualified talent via an internship program, to include scholarships with St. John’s University in New York.
Perhaps the U.S. industry can learn from Bermuda as it works to become more diverse and inclusive through collaboration with programs like HBCU IMPACT – a campaign aimed at recruiting students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to the insurance industry.