October 2013

Spotlight – In international business, almost every market around the world does things in a different way. This often leads to misunderstandings and unfulfilled expectations. However, different does not need to mean difficult and knowledge of the needs and characteristics of specific geographic markets is an advantage to those who are active in the global economy. These articles help you understand different aspects of the insurance industry around the world, enabling those who do business there to feel more “at home, abroad.”

A recent study by Swiss Re (http://www.swissre.com/) explains that for the first time in human history, more people live in cities, than in rural areas and, as we know, the world’s sprawling cities are centres of economic activity and growth. A major natural catastrophe can cause tremendous suffering and disruption. Floods endanger cities more than any other natural peril, even earthquakes, wind storms, storm surge and tsunamis. Each of these five perils can affect cities in different parts of the globe with varying degrees of violence and some of these cities are not ones which most of us would have considered vulnerable. There are other perils such as drought, landslide and extreme temperatures which are not part of this study but have formed parts of other reviews.

In the preface to the study, Swiss Re says, “we hope the findings of this study will give fresh impetus to the global debate about strengthening the resilience of cities and encourage governments, citizens and the insurance industry to take collective action to mitigate the risks faced by urban communities around the world.” We are pleased to be able to provide access to this study at http://media.swissre.com/documents/Swiss_Re_Mind_the_risk.pdf and recommend our readers study this and review the findings and conclusions. We are grateful to Swiss Re for their permission to publish the study and any questions should be directed to Brigitte Meier, Media Relations Manager, at brigitte_meier@swissre.com