January 2011

Swiss Re’s Sigma, one of the most thoughtful publications in the industry, has some surprising information: economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were US$222 billion in 2010 and insured losses were US$36 billion, up 34% from 2009.  Read the full report at http://www.swissre.com/media/media_information/Preliminary_2010_catastrophes_estimates_from_sigma.html

Insurance Service Network (ISN) reports that the U.K. government and the international insurance industry are to join forces on global climate solutions. For a good summary, see https://www.isn-inc.com/news/news.aspx?nid=2489&cid=1

Web-based insurance platforms are sprouting up! Inex24 and LexisNexis Insurance Exchange have interesting websites at www.inex24.com and www.lexisnexis.com/risk/insuranceexchange/ 

The Turkish subsidiary of Zurich has signed an agreement with Fortis Bank for the exclusive distribution of its general insurance products throughout the country. You can access the full news release at http://www.zurich.com/main/media/newsreleases/2010/english/2010_1221_01_article.htm

In Lebanon, Zurich as acquired Compagnie Libanaise d’Assurances SAL which also has operations in the U.A.E., Kuwait and Oman. For more information please go to http://www.zurich.com/main/media/newsreleases/2010/english/2010_1201_01_article.htm

The Insurance Research Center in Teheran reports that Iran is establishing an international insurance company to help overcome global sanctions. The message at http://www.irc.ac.ir/en/news/news.php?newsid=22 does not tell us what we would really like to know, like insured interest, extent of coverage and most importantly who would reinsure the firm…

We do not read much about successful investment income during the long months of the credit crunch and so Protection & Indemnity clubs must be the exception which proves the rule. In a recent report on the P&I market, the really good news is that underwriting results have been good as well, as you can see at http://www.willis.com/Documents/Publications/Industries/Marine/AnimatedPDF/dec2010/index.html

About a decade after paring down its international operations, Travelers is venturing forth again, with a joint venture in Brazil. We wish them luck with this new arm described in http://investor.travelers.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=177842&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1491632&highlight=Brazil

Indonesia is to establish a new supervisory authority for financial services early next year. The Jakarta Post originally reported this at http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/01/28/bill-be-ready-soon-new-financial-authority.html but it has taken longer than anticipated to get everything in place

According to the Chartered Secretaries Australia (CSA), there is a gap between governance and risk management frameworks in many companies. Their compelling report can be found at http://www.csaust.com/Content/NavigationMenu/NewsAdvocacy/Surveys/Surveys.htm

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has set up a task force to speed up the development of Microinsurance throughout the country. Business Recorder has a good article at http://www.brecorder.com/news/stocks-and-bonds/pakistan/1131517:news.html

The Arab Insurance Group, ARIG, in Bahrain is to open a representative office in Libya, as mentioned in http://www.arig.net/mc_atglance_details.asp?s_press_id=25  The company has branches in Singapore and Labuan and a representative office in Mauritius. ARIG also writes business at Lloyd’s through an association with the Hardy syndicate

We have several asides attributed to the late English comedian Tommy Cooper which most of our readers will doubtless appreciate:

  • Two blondes walk into a building ………. you’d think at least one of them would have seen it


  • Telephone answering machine message – ‘…if you want to buy marijuana, press the hash key…’