The CRO Forum’s 2020 Emerging Risk Radar

(Re)insurers including SCOR are preparing for the major trends than could affect the insurance sector over the next five years and beyond


The CRO Forum’s radar is a summary of emerging risks and associated major trends that could affect the insurance sector over the next five years and beyond. Risks are classified low, medium or high according to their perceived materiality. Both the list of risks and the assessment of impact and timing are based on the expert opinion of the Emerging Risk Initiative (ERI) working group of the CRO Forum.

Several new risks have been added to the register:

  • Skills Shortage and Reskilling, which acknowledges the implication of trends, such as the potential skill shortages from the impending retirement of the post-war, ‘Baby Boomer’ generation.
  • Plastics and Microplastics added in light of the environmental and health risks associated with the pervasive and persistent presence of plastic waste in the environment.
  • Digital Misinformation, which captures the threat from the proliferation of technologies which enable the creation of convincing fake content in text, audio and video.


An event that has significantly shaped the emerging risk landscape in 2020 is the Covid-19 pandemic. With the pandemic still unfolding, its full implications are not yet clear, but already it has prompted a re-evaluation of several risks on the Radar. These include:

  • Pandemics, where the experience of the outbreak has exposed the vulnerabilities of the current globalised world and healthcare systems.
  • Geopolitical Conflict, as international cooperation has weakened in the face of the outbreak and many governments have chosen to pursue more nationalistic policies (which could imply a greater risk of conflict).
  • Protectionism has increased, as states seek to reduce vulnerabilities created by dependencies on international supply chains, particularly in critical areas such as pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.


Thank you to the SCOR Risk teams who were involved in the publication of this report.


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About the CRO Forum

The CRO Forum focuses on developing and promoting industry best practices in risk management. Comprised of Chief Risk Officers from multinational (re)insurance companies, it aims to represent the members' views on key risk management topics, including emerging risks. It regularly publishes practice and position papers on timely risk management subjects. 

Frieder Knüpling, Group Chief Risk Officer of SCOR, currently serves as Chair of the CRO Forum.


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