March 2011

Talk Around the Bazaar

Following the flooding of large areas of Australia and the anticipated high number of claims, there is a call for a natural disaster reinsurance pool. By having a pool, the government can be protected against taking one-off measures as well as avoiding flood levies which the population does not like.  The Australian National Affairs has an excellent article on who will pick up the tab at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/deciding-just-who-picks-up-the-tab-after-a-catastrophe/story-fn59niix-1226004271664

The Royal Gazette in Bermuda believes the United States will err the other way and allow insurers to go the whole hog. Shifting the liability for flood to private insurers would relieve the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and Congress would alter taxes but all is not as easy as it seems. Make up your own mind by reading http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20110203/BUSINESS04/702039935

Another story from Australia comes in the well-written review on the general insurance industry by JP Morgan Deloitte. This can be downloaded at http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_AU/au/industries/financialservices/fbfbab60fa9cd210VgnVCM2000001b56f00aRCRD.htm?id=au_hpflashJPMorganDeloitteInsuranceSurvey

The government of Bangladesh has set up the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA). This will supervise the 62 insurance companies in the country. The industry has responded positively, as reported in the Financial Express, http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=124172

While not a member of ASEAN, Bangladesh will seek to develop uniformity in the regulation of financial institutions as the Philippines are undertaking.  The Asean Free Trade Agreement is due to take effect in 2015 and will enable insurers to meet the challenges of cross frontier insurance products and services across the region. For more about AFTAs and FTAs, please go to ASEAN’s website, http://www.aseansec.org/4920.htm

The largest multinational insurer in Latin America, Mapfre, has published the Ninth Latin American Insurance market Report. All Business has a good summary of the key findings at http://www.allbusiness.com/economy-economic-indicators/money-currencies-interest/15450029-1.html

It looks like Cuba is on its way to come in from the cold. All Business reports that the country is to join ALADI (Latin American Integration Association) and will be the first new member since the association was founded in 1980. With the high Latino percentage of the U.S. population in certain southern and western states it would be interesting to learn whether they would ever seek associate membership… To find out who is a member, go to http://www.allbusiness.com/caribbean/291691-1.html

The IMF has its own views on developments in the Latin American region at http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm and believes there is an opportunity to make the good times even better

Thanks to our esteemed colleague at ISN, we have come across the recommendation that drivers should not cut corners in the U.K. This habit should not gather momentum in other countries and if you want to know why, the ABI (Association of British Insurers) will tell you http://www.abi.org.uk/Media/Releases/2011/01/Motorists_cutting_corners_risk_driving_illegally_warns_the_ABI.aspx  

It is in its early stages, but NI news-insurance.com reports that India is drafting regulations for insurance relating to nuclear accidents as you can see at http://www.news-insurances.com/india-insurance-cover-for-nuclear-accidents/0167472748  

Business Insurance has a good article on the anti-piracy drive launched by the United Nations, see http://www.businessinsurance.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110203/NEWS01/110209958 The International Maritime Organisation spells out the plan in more detail at http://www.imo.org/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/06-piracy-circ-letter.aspx

Every year, people who dislike cold and wet winters consider emigrating to Spain – a noble thought. But how does one sort out the nitty gritty of adjusting to another country’s way of pensions and old age retirement planning. Our friends at IBN have a good answer for you at http://www.intlben.com/country-profiles/spain-employee-benefits-state-mandatory-private-pension-plans-taxation.pdf

This year the RIMS conference will be held in Vancouver from the 1st to the 5th May and it promises to be a lively networking event. Don’t delay and register at http://www.rims.org/annualconference/RIMS2011/Pages/default.aspx

China aims to expand its medical insurance to cover 90% of city residents by the end of 2011. This is an ambitious plan and part of the overall strategy to complete landmark healthcare reforms by 2020. This is well described in Yahoo news in http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110217/hl_nm/us_china_healthcare

Meanwhile, following our note last month, Shanghai has applied to the central government for approval of its plans to build an insurance exchange. This should provide a platform for domestic and foreign reinsurers according to The China Post on http://www.chinapost.com.tw/china/national-news/2011/02/21/291808/Shanghai-plans.htm

Something similar has already happened in Germany where the establishment of an exchange is far more advanced as one can see with a glance at Inex24’s new website, http://www.inex24.de/index_en.html

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

  • Man goes to the doctor, with a strawberry growing out of his head.
    Doc says ‘I’ll give you some cream to put on it.’

‘Doc I can’t stop singing ‘The Green, Green Grass of Home’
‘That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome’
‘Is it common?’
‘It’s not  unusual’