Construction Insurance Spotlight – Q&A with IGI’s Matthew Gosling
Matthew Gosling, Senior Underwriter, Construction and Engineering at IGI, is the new Chairman of the Contractors All Risks Group and also sits on the Executive Committee for the London Engineering Group.
The Contractors All Risks Group provides a forum for Construction Underwriters to share technical information on building construction projects and developments in the construction industry.
Here, Matthew explains what his new role will entail and how the CAR Group can proactively respond to the constantly evolving nature of risk in the construction industry.
What does the CAR Group provide a forum for?
The CAR Group, formerly known as the UK CAR Group, has now expanded and looks at construction projects on a worldwide basis rather than solely focusing on those in the UK. It is made up of a membership of Construction Underwriters who come together to share their thoughts and opinions on construction projects in the construction insurance industry. The group produced the DE set of design clauses that are commonly used in CAR insurance policies. The Contractors All Risks Group was an independent trade body, until the beginning of 2017 when it was incorporated as an affiliated committee of the London Engineering Group.
What will your role as Chairman involve?
The Chairperson of the CAR Group must ensure that the Management Committee functions properly and that there is a reasonable participation of the membership during meetings. As well as setting the Agenda, the Chairman will ensure the meetings progress in a timely matter. It is important that all relevant matters discussed are done in line with the Articles of Association and that any action points are carried out with effective decisions made.
What are the main developments in the construction industry that impacts the insurance world?
The development, promotion and benefits involved with renewable energy sources has promoted spending in this area of construction. With this development and the constant evolution of technology, prototypical elements or unproven technologies and design are constantly being revealed. These aspects introduce even more “unknown” to an already complex nature of business.
As well as these developments, there are general technological advancements, contractors introducing digital monitoring, which although can have some huge positives in respect of efficiency and accuracy, introduces new risks such as the potential for cyber-attacks. To stay more within the CAR scope, we now have the use of drones on construction sites, satellite/GPS measurements, the use of renewable materials - such as timber frames in high rise buildings or modular construction - and the growing need to meet energy saving green credentials.
Contractors are taking on more risks today than ever before and risk management is an integral part of the industry now. How have the risk management needs in construction developed over the past five years?
The construction industry has historically been seen as risky for several factors including the risks associated with design, the risks arising from the damage to the structure or equipment, financial risks like increased material cost, changes in laws and regulations, pollution and safety rules and obviously environmental risks e.g. natural disasters.
Risk management within the construction industry is a constantly evolving process and is under constant scrutiny - especially in the UK. What we now have is a risk management process which consists of the identification of risks, full assessment and responses with a suitable method for handling the risks, and then controls put in place in respect of monitoring.
Carillion’s collapse was Britain’s biggest corporate failure in decades and was a big shock to the construction sector. What is the impact that Carillion’s liquidation has had on the insurance industry?
The impact will certainly be felt across the whole industry, but I would say in particular the firms who were supplying goods and services to Carillion in support of the projects on which the firm was working are going to feel it most. Many of these companies are likely to have seen a huge part of their business wiped out due to not seeking insurance for this scenario. The knock-on effect could be a number of supplier firms going into liquidation themselves, resulting in the potential loss of further jobs and businesses.
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Established in 2001, International General Insurance (IGI) is a global privately-owned specialist commercial insurer and reinsurer. Our vision is to be the company of choice for clients and brokers through market-leading service and our reputation for stable management and capital security.
A diverse and highly experienced team of underwriters operates our office in London. We also have offices in Dubai, Amman, Casablanca and Kuala Lumpur.
Our diverse portfolio of specialty lines includes Energy, Property, Construction & Engineering, Ports & Terminals, Financial Institutions, Aviation, Professional Indemnity, Political Violence, Legal Expenses, D&O, Casualty, Forestry and Treaty Reinsurance.
Standard and Poor’s upgraded our financial strength rating to “A- “, with a Stable outlook. A.M. Best rated the company A- (Excellent), with a Positive outlook, stating, “the revised outlook reflects IGI’s consistent record of very strong operating performance and the continuous improvement in its enterprise risk management framework.”
We take pride in providing proactive claims management, coupled with open communication, leading to the efficient handling of claims. We endeavour to act fairly and honourably in our relations with clients and brokers.
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