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Posted: Jan 20, 2011

Insurance and risk management industry briefing on nanotechnology

(Nanowerk News) The CRO Forum is a professional risk management group that focuses on developing and promoting industry best practices in risk management. The forum was formed in 2004 to work on key relevant risk management issues within the insurance industry.
Represented by Chief Risk Officers of the various members, the CRO Forum tends to work on topics of a more technical nature. Due to the fact that the forum's members are large multi-national insurance companies, the CRO Forum is generally perceived as leaders within the industry with respect to valuation, risk measurement, and risk management.
Nanotechnology presents the insurance and risk management industries with significant challenges and opportunities. Central to these are the relatively unknown environmental, health and safety exposures arising from nanomaterials through their life cycle. Nanomaterials may present different toxicity when compared to their macro counterparts and exposure to hazard may arise in new ways. The toxicity of materials in an unmodified macro state does not necessarily correspond to toxicity in the nanostate, nor can we rely on outdated environmental health and safety regulations or outmoded risk mitigation protocols. This uncertainty has a direct impact on the potential effectiveness of risk management, the availability of insurance risk transfer products, and the ability of insurers to establish suitable reserving practices.
The insurance and risk management industries have an opportunity to collaborate with other nanotechnology stakeholders to close knowledge gaps as quickly as possible in four key areas:
  • Nanotechnology risk and safety analysis standards
  • Environmental, health and safety (EHS) hazards research
  • Regulatory alignment
  • Proprietary risk assessment
  • A new paper from the CRO Forum explores these key areas and the opportunity for collaboration with other stakeholders to pursue the safe and efficient commercial use of nanotechnology.
    In summary, the insurance industry seeks to foster opportunity while not ignoring the risks associated with nanotechnology. The insurance industry's primary interest is to achieve a greater understanding of nanotechnology hazards in order to promote risk awareness, risk management and above all, insurability.
    Source: CRO Forum
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