4 emerging and evolving risks in 2023


Published: 13 January 2023

By Gian Hayer

Digital Content Producer

As we kick off 2023, we move one step further through a period that Zurich has recently dubbed ‘the decade of global risks’. From the rapid progression of the climate crisis to the increased complexity of cyberattacks, innovation will continue to be integral to preparing appropriate propositions and solutions. Without further ado, here are the four most significant emerging and evolving insurance risks to watch out for in 2023. 


While it’s evident that the threat of cyber has now existed for some time, the risk continues to be fast-growing. Globally, the number of cyberattacks increased by 28% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. In spite of this, 23% of businesses have no cyber insurance cover whatsoever. This protection gap is not helped by concerns regarding the accessibility and quality of cyber cover; while the threat of cyber has risen, UK cyber insurance pricing has increased dramatically.  

Some of the most significant risks predicted to face the cyber market in 2023 include social engineering fraud and the rise of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS). As innovation progresses with regard to the manner in which cyberattacks are carried out, cyber insurance cover will be of even greater importance in 2023 than it has been in previous years, to provide protection against increasingly uncertain threats.  

We’re excited to hear Anthony Herring (Nordic Head of Underwriting, Riskpoint) share his insights on cyber risk in his case study presentation ‘Cyber risk: managing exposure’ on Day 1 of Insurance Innovators Nordics, taking place on 21st March 2023.  


The climate crisis has given rise to a great deal of interconnected global risks that cause catastrophic damage. In 2022, in the USA alone, there were 18 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, leading to at least 474 fatalities. The damages from these disasters totalled approximately $160.5 billion, making 2022 the third most costly year on record.  

With the unprecedented rise in the quantity and severity of global natural disasters in recent years, insurers will have to innovate and provide new solutions and products in order to mitigate these evolving risks. The use of parametric insurance for flood coverage is a prime example of the use of relatively new technology (blockchain) to improve an insurance proposition, and it will be interesting to see other ways in which this can be executed this year and into the future.  

To learn more, don’t miss Adam Rimmer (CEO and Co-Founder, FloodFlash) as he discusses ‘Insuring the green economy’ on Day 1 of Insurance Innovators Munich, 12th June 2023.  


In 2022, we saw just how volatile digital assets could be, with $3.9 billion lost in the cryptocurrency market over the course of the year. For the digital asset market to fulfil its potential and stand alongside the $100 trillion stock market, there needs to be a way to properly manage the risk of this volatility. While there is a large opportunity for insurers to step in here, some of the biggest obstacles to entering the digital asset insurance space include a lack of historical data, regulatory ambiguity, and simply dealing with the extreme volatility of the market.

The FDIC recently issued a statement on crypto-asset risks to financial institutions, expressing the ‘significant safety and soundness concerns’ of activities in the crypto-asset sector, so it is clear that there is a need for insurers to step in with a coverage solution. There are indeed insurers such as Nexus Mutual and UnoRe who are already making waves in this space, and it will be interesting to see how DeFi insurance evolves as the need for it grows moving forward.

Certainly, at the recent Insurance Innovators Summit, attendees heard from Jaskanwar Singh (Co-Founder, UnoRe) on ‘The future of DeFi risk solutions’, while Dan Roberts (CEO, Nayms) gave a presentation on ‘The role of insurance in digital assets and the maturing insurance ecosystem’.  


As the legalisation of cannabis progresses throughout North America, an industry has grown that is engendering a whole set of new insurable risks. Many of these risks relate to the cannabis products themselves, with states issuing dozens of recalls in 2022 for marijuana edibles, including mislabelling and mould and salmonella contamination. As a result, cannabis companies filed a greater number of claims against product liability policies in the first half of 2022 than in the five years preceding. The quantity of these recalls has an impact on product liability coverage; rates are predicted to rise by from 10% to 15% in 2023. 

While this new market is an opportunity for insurers, the insurance of the cannabis industry is yet to properly take off. Jay Virdi, Chief Sales Officer for Hub International’s cannabis speciality practice has discussed this specifically in relation to Canada, stating that Four years into legalisation here for adult recreational use and it’s still very much a specialty MGA, very niche play’.  From Virdi’s perspective, the scarcity of domestic carriers in the field will make space for new entrants to forge their own path.  

The insurance of the cannabis industry will be covered in further detail on Day 2 of Insurance Innovators USA (18th April 2023), where CEO and President of the National Cannabis Risk Prevention Services, Rocco Petrilli, will be presenting a spotlight on the topic.  


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