Insurance Banana Skins 2017

What are the top risks facing the insurance industry?


What risks do insurers worldwide face in the current climate and how are they prioritising them?

PwC and the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) have joined forces to gather responses from senior insurers and close observers of the financial scene to learn what they see as the biggest threat.

This 2017 survey is based on 836 responses from practitioners, regulators and observers of the insurance industry in 52 countries. Please explore the results received around the world using the interactive map below, and download the report to find out more about what the risks facing the insurance industry mean for your business.

Insurance Banana Skins is a piece of research conducted by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI), an independent think tank, in association with PwC. It's a survey of insurers and seeks out their views on current risk and future trends.


Around the world with Insurance Banana Skins 2017

Select or click on a country to view that nation’s top risks for the insurance industry.

Top global risks

Change management

By far the biggest riser this year, up from No. 15 just four years ago. Rapidly evolving markets, rising customer expectations and new distribution channels threaten traditional insurance business models, while incumbents held back by legacy systems and traditional modes of thinking endeavor to innovate in an unfamiliar environment.

Cyber risk

A relative newcomer to the scene, narrowly missing a top place ranking, this risk has risen sharply with concerns about both crime and underwriting risk. This risk is seen to be exceedingly urgent due to an ever-growing volume of insurers’ business coming from digital channels.


Technology was the top ranked Banana Skin for non-life insurers. Incumbents in every sector of the industry are hamstrung by legacy systems and respondents felt that using technology to improve internal processes will be key to minimising insurers’ administration costs, a necessity for their long-term survival.

Interest rates

Concern about economic instability remains high and low interest rates are affecting the industry overall by depressing investment returns and, ultimately, company profitability, creating a generally riskier environment.

Investment performance

This Banana Skin is unchanged in position from last time. The combination of low interest rates and volatile equity markets has made it harder for insurance companies to find suitable long-term assets to match liabilities and generate adequate returns.

The Insurance Banana Skins report provides valuable insights into the risk concerns at the top of the boardroom agenda and how these perceptions change over time. The ten years since the first edition have seen a considerable maturing in how risks are managed and built into decision making within the insurance industry. This maturing is reflected in an increasingly integrated and forward-looking approach to enterprise risk management (ERM), as well as in the growing status and influence of the Chief Risk Officer within strategic management. 

Contact us

Stephen O'Hearn

Global Insurance Leader, Partner, PwC Germany

Tel: + 49 89 38 00 69 688

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