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Emerging Risks

Keep up to date on the latest emerging risks news and opinions from our industry experts

Emerging Risks include new risks that have developed in recent years but have yet to fully crystallise and those which might already exist but are difficult to quantify. They are the result of dynamic technological, societal, political, environmental, economic, scientific, legal and regulatory changes which affect us all.

On this page we bring together our insights on key areas to help you understand the latest developments and provide guidance on new opportunities and risk management.

Air quality

Air pollution poses a major threat to health worldwide, killing an estimated seven million people each year, with 9 in 10 people inhaling air which does not meet World Health Organisation standards. Air pollution also has a catastrophic impact on our environment, causing biodiversity loss and climate change. Government authorities and businesses are facing a fast-changing legal landscape as the world reacts to the impact of air pollution and recent years have seen a steep rise in air pollution claims across the globe.

Automated vehicles

Vehicle automation is a hot topic for many reasons. The technology, regulatory framework, liability principles and availability of insurance are all developing rapidly.

Distress and mental anguish

The law on pure distress claims is in a state of flux. Until relatively recently, only diagnosed psychiatric conditions could be claimed for in tort, and even then, the circumstances in which claims could be made were extremely narrow. Now several branches of the law are developing in parallel: claims for pure distress under the GDPR, claims for distress caused by invasion of privacy and, the most wide-reaching, claims under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

PFAS and chemical risk

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are man-made chemicals which have been used in products ranging from food packaging, to waterproof clothing, to firefighting foams, for decades. Scientific research into these substances connects them with various diseases and increasing awareness of their dangers coupled with the slow pace of phasing them out of use, means that they pose a significant liability risk.

Climate change and transition risk

Transition risk is one of the three principal categories of climate-related risk. It is the risk associated with the response to climate change, namely the policy, legal, technology and market changes which result from the transition to a lower carbon economy. Transition risk is now a widely acknowledged threat to the stability of the financial system.

Social Inflation

Social inflation refers to the trend of rising insurance costs due to increased litigation, claimant-friendly judgements, and higher awards of damages. It is one of the major emerging risks the insurance industry must face in the immediate future.

Insurance 2023 - the year ahead

Clyde & Co insurance experts highlight the trends, risks and opportunities likely to impact the insurance industry in 2023.

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