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IDF Blog

Continuing our series of blogs and articles catching up with key figures behind the establishment and ongoing development of the Insurance Development Forum, we caught up with Nigel Brook, Partner at Clyde & Co and advisor to the IDF, to get his take on progress to date as we look ahead to COP26.

The IDF was established at the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP21) Paris Climate summit in 2015 and official launch by leaders of the United Nations, the World Bank and the insurance industry in 2016.

“The key element to the IDF’s ongoing success has been establishing a basis on which public and private sector institutions can work productively together and deepen their mutual understanding.”


Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and the company/association that you work for.

A: “I’m a partner at Clyde & Co, an international law firm which acts for most of the world’s leading insurance carriers. I specialise in reinsurance and I also lead the firm’s global Resilience and Climate Risk practice.”


Q: When did you begin your partnership with the Insurance Development Forum (IDF) and why did you choose to partner with them?

A: “I learned about the proposal to launch the IDF via Rowan Douglas at Willis Towers Watson, when we were developing our Resilience offering. My colleagues and I were keen to support an initiative that would allow the insurance industry to play a more concerted role in making the world more resilient (in particular to weather-related events) and narrow the protection gap.”


Q: Please explain the work you do with the IDF, including any past or present projects that you are most proud of.

A: “I’m particularly proud of two projects. One was to help the IDF gain legal status (particular kudos to my colleague Richard Elks). The other was the work with IDF members and others that resulted in two reports on the use of technology in bridging the protection gap. These were:

  1. The 2019 paper IDF paper: How Technology can Help Bridge the Protection Gap
  2. The follow-on report released in 2020 Technology and Innovation: Tools to help close the Protection Gap in Micro-Insurance Markets.


Q: What do you think are the key elements that make the IDF successful?

A: “The key element to the IDF’s ongoing success has been establishing a basis on which public and private sector institutions can work productively together and deepen their mutual understanding. Focusing on areas where the insurance industry and its products and capabilities can make a real difference, such as risk modelling and mapping.”


Q: What are the key goals that you will be focusing the IDF on in the next 12 months?

A: “There is a lot more to be done about the role of technology in bridging the protection gap, in particular looking at regulation and potential barriers to adoption. Also it is critical to plug into the wider work that technology companies and entrepreneurs are doing to tackle climate change.

Beyond that, COP26 will be framing my thoughts this year. I’m hoping we will see moves to allow insurance products and methodology to play a much more prominent and proactive role in the transition to Net Zero and making the world more resilient against a changing climate.


Q: Bonus question: If you could issue one call to action for improving resilience around the world, what would it be?

A: “A richer dialogue between policy makers, planners, infrastructure funders and the insurance industry.”


Thank you to Nigel for his time, and the ongoing collaboration between Clyde & Co and the IDF.


Also in the IDF at 5 Years series:


8th March, 2021