October 2010

Talk Around the Bazaar

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake which struck Christchurch on the 4th September caused a huge amount of damage but fortunately no fatalities. There has been excellent media coverage and with typical Kiwi don’t hang about mentality, the country is going to fix the clearing up and recovery. Estimates of the costs involved exceed NZ$2.5 billion for insured damage and another NZ$3.5 billion economic losses. The Earthquake Commission (EQC) provides coverage of up to NZ$100,000 for dwellings and a maximum of NZ$20,000 for personal belongings. For a clear outline of most aspects of what will probably the most destructive earthquake in New Zealand’s history, please refer to the Publications section of Sloan Risk Management Services at http://www.sloanrisk.co.nz/index.htm

Forecasting natural catastrophes like earthquakes is more than a full time job. The Global Earthquake Model is a collaborative effort which brings together state-of-the-art science, national, regional and international organisations and individuals aimed at the establishment of uniform and open standards for calculating and communicating earthquake risk worldwide. Their website is http://www.globalquakemodel.org The GEM is, itself, was set up by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (http://www.oecd.org/home/0,2987,en_2649_201185_1_1_1_1_1,00.html) who looks at whatever affects progress towards a ”Stronger, Cleaner, Fairer World Economy” 

After centuries of having brokers visiting the Lloyd’s Room with underwriting slips, a trial with iPads is underway. During this three month period we will see how quickly the market can adjust. Fortunately for all, this will not replace the hallowed face to face which has been the hallmark of the marketplace. The attached link explains http://www.lloyds.com/News-and-Insight/News-and-Features/Lloyds-News/Lloyds-News-2010/ipad-pilot-060910

Palmer & Cay is back! This well-known U.S. broking name is back in the market and has opened up in Atlanta. We wish them luck and you can, too at http://palmerandcay.com

Known to many of our readers as an excellent supplier of global insurance market information, Axco Insurance Information Services (http://www.axcoinfo.com) has been acquired by the Wilmington Group (http://www.wilmington.co.uk). Let’s hope that the wonderful team of experts will be allowed to continue their good work. This development means that the Insurance Services Network, ISN (http://www.isn-inc.com/aboutus/insurance-services-network.aspx), is the only management owned international insurance information and consulting company operating in the same field

The Ethiopian Insurance Corporation is to open an office in Juba, the capital of its troubled neighbour southern Sudan. EIC is the largest insurer in its home country and this will be its first foreign foray. For more, see http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article32339&FORM=ZZNR4

The second largest private insurance company in Algeria, Alliance Assurances, is to become the first private firm to list on the Algiers stock exchange. It is pleasing to see some of the smaller carriers get a mention in the world’s media. For more about the company, go to http://www.allianceassurances.com

As usual, Business Insurance has something interesting to read: the number of U.S. residents who are uninsured has never been higher. For more, see http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20100916/NEWS/100919936

The European Union has introduced new rules to enhance and improve the safety performance of ships. Will this affect insurance premiums? Read http://www.commercialriskeurope.com/cre/306/56/New-EU-rules-will-name-and-shame-less-safe-shipping-companies to find out

The Post Magazine has told many people who went to the Rendez-Vous de Septembre in Monte Carlo something they already must have known. To check whether you knew this, too, please refer to http://www.postonline.co.uk/post/news/1733599/london-remains-key-location-insurance-industry?wt.mc_ev=click&wt.mc_id=E363%7CE14346&wt.seg_1=email%7C%7Cnewsletters%7C%7CReinsurance%20-%20Insurance%7C%7CWeekly%7C%7C17%20September%7C%7CLondon%20remains%20%22key%20location%22%20for%20insurance%20industry

Students in China will soon have insurance cover against traffic accidents. The article confirming this does not pass comment on any rights injured cyclists may have against guilty motorists, http://www.womenofchina.cn/news/Updates_on_Women/223747.jsp

Egypt is to get a Financial Services Institute, whose mission is to develop workers’ skills in the non-bank financial service sector in order to establish sound professional work rules. This is confirmed in http://www.gafinet.org/English/lists/GAFI_EnNews/EngDispForm.aspx?ID=335

Meanwhile, the E.U. has approved measures to establish pan European insurance, banking, securities supervising agencies. Business Insurance has more on this at http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20100922/NEWS/100929966 Commercial Risk Europe has their version at http://www.commercialriskeurope.com/cre/318/56/Parliament-vote-means-new-era-of-European-supervision-CEIOPS

The Cambodian government is taking steps to boost the micro-insurance industry. This welcome development is recorded in the Phnom Penh Post, http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2010092242217/Business/micro-insurance-boost.html

As all of our readers are bound to know, a paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way which causes the reader or listener to re-frame or re-interpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists. Here are some examples:

  • If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine