March 2013

Talk Around the Bazaar

Takaful is growing faster than traditional insurance, according to reports from various sources. However, not many Takaful companies are really focussed on developing new products. In most cases their portfolios are not much different from conventional insurers – apart from the fact that they are Shari’ah-compliant. What could start hurting Takaful companies is inconsistent regulation as Business Times points out at http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/MixedTakaful/Article/

An increasing number of African countries are considering issuing sukuk to fund their huge infrastructure needs and diversify their investor base, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has reported.  The term sukuk is the Arabic name commonly referred to bonds which are structured to comply with Islamic law. The Wall Street Journal has a clearly written article on the subject, which is only available for subscribers (a free month’s trial is available) and can be found at http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130222-707285.html.

The Russian National Union of Liability Insurers has proposed the limits for mines from RUB10 million to RUB50 million. Be Update About Insurance has more detail at http://insurance.hapigan.com/2013/02/13/russia-liability-insurers-union-proposes-higher-limits-for-mines/ When you consider the new limit is the equivalent of about US$1.7 million, all foreign investors will easily comply with this

According to Advisen, “a digital revolution took place at Lloyd’s of London as the 325-year-old insurance market moved closer to a life without paper”. Plans to prevent brokers and underwriters from wandering around the market wielding folders full of paper are getting close to realisation. Read more about this development at http://eurfpn.advisen.com/fpnHomepagep.shtml?resource_id=1935521351706906578&userEmail=george.worsley@worldwiderisksolutions.com#top

There are now a total of seven managing agents in Lloyd’s China with Kiln’s entry in January. Two more managing agents are planning to join Lloyd’s China in the first quarter of this year. This is excellent news and a tribute to the hard work put in by many professionals in China and London. For more on this subject, please go to http://www.lloyds.com/news-and-insight/news-and-features/lloyds-news/lloyds-news-2013/more-syndicates-to-benefit-from-lloyds-china

China and the United States hogged the lion’s share of global economic losses last year with more than nine (but not quite ten) of the Top Ten reported events. To find out how Aon Benfield arrives at this statistic, go to Page 5 of their most informative Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report at http://thoughtleadership.aonbenfield.com/Documents/20130124_if_annual_global_climate_catastrophe_report.pdf

The devastating earthquake which caused havoc in Christchurch two years ago could be surpassed in a terrible manner if something of the same magnitude were to hit the Western Washington Urban Core. This is the prediction recently mooted at a workshop in Seattle. The Seattle Times reports on this at http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020343625_earthquakelessonsxml.html and Seattle City Council members would be well advised to read about the difficulties with recovery and insurance as Stuff reports at http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/rebuilding-christchurch/8338782/Christchurch-rebuild-inches-towards-recovery

When one talks about bespoke fisheries insurance policies, it brings to mind the giants of the ocean-going fleets from Japan, Iceland, Norway, the UK, the Netherlands but not Nepal, high up in the Himalayas with eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains. But the more than 30 million inhabitants have to eat and because 80% of Nepalis are Hindu, many of them do not eat meat. The oceans are far away and that leaves the construction of ponds for fish farming as a major priority – and priorities mean risk management and insurance. The latest news is that it will be mandatory for non-Life insurers to offer fisheries insurance. República has the fine detail at http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=50568

Following the tragic events at the gas facility In Amenas in Algeria where BP and Statoil lost nine employees amongst the 75 civilians and terrorists who died, Statoil is launching a security investigation as reported by Rigzone at http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/124632/Statoil_Launches_In_Amenas_Investigation The issues under review may look familiar to many, but somehow, way out in the desert, the gas facility unfortunately became an easy target

Ukraine’s National Commission for Regulation of Financial Services (Natskomfinuslug) has published a revised draft setting out the minimum financial strength rating (FSR) for foreign insurers and reinsurers. This is great news for the rating agencies as one can read at http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20130227/NEWS09/130229847

Did you know? Here are some interesting facts which could come in handy to know…

  • 11% of all people are left-handed
  • No piece of normal size paper can be folded in half more than seven times