Jonathan Squirrell reports on the progress of the Insurance Museum initiative planned for the City of London
For centuries, insurance has enabled the risk of human progress to be managed and mitigated. But its rich history and diverse stories of people, events and innovations have rarely, if ever, been brought together in one place.
The Insurance Museum's (IM) mission is to change all this by opening the doors on the incredible story of how society has managed risk and how it will continue to navigate what is on the horizon. The museum's aim is for visitors to discover and enjoy learning about the challenges and triumphs along the way.
This mission to tell the story of risk through the museum is also inspired by the CII's Royal Charter to "build public trust in the insurance profession". Never has this Charter been more relevant than now, as the world faces the devastating impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Public trust in the insurance profession is undeniably being impacted at this complex and emotive time. Lessons will be learned and a crucial aspect of responding to this pandemic is that insurance can, and must, improve its dialogue with those outside the profession.
This is a profession that underwrites the launching of satellites into space, manages earthquake risk and assesses the impact of new technologies such as artificial intelligence. None of these exciting endeavours that keep the cogs and gears of societies moving would be feasible without insurance.
A WEALTH OF HERITAGE
In 2018, CII CEO, Sian Fisher, asked Reg Brown to chair a working group to review what should be done with the Institute's heritage items following its office move.
From there, Mr Brown created the idea to open an insurance museum for the public. With his determination and energy, word quickly spread, prompting chairs and CEOs from across the market to join in and share their support.
The IM initiative working group (I'M IN), with the support of the CII, commissioned a feasibility study that revealed overwhelming market support for the idea of delivering a world-class visitor venue -- in the City of London, the global heartland of insurance.
The initiative - now sponsored by Ageas, Aon, Aviva, AXA, Beazley, Guy Carpenter, Hiscox, Howden, IGI, LMA, Marsh, McGill and Partners, Morning Data, Mulberry Risk, PSC Insurance Group, RKH Specialty, RWA, Swiss Re and Willis Towers Watson - is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the insurance community to come together to curate and share the story of insurance. It will not only be educational, but inspirefuture generations to consider joiningthis exciting but little-understood financial services sector.
If you would like to support this initiative, visit: insurancemuseum.uk to pledge your support and sign up to our newsletter with its details of
Phase 1: Establish a first-phase museum in London, EC3 (4,000sq-8,000 sq ft), with supporting docufilm series and digital resources (online/virtual museum, app). Initial fundraising target of £3m+ from across the corporate market, trusts, funds and crowdfunding.
Phase 2: Creation of the permanent world-class visitor venue (20,000 sq ft), in London, EC3. Aimed to open in 2028.
Jonathan Squirrell is Insurance Museum project manager