March 2011

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.”

In January, the Insurance Institute of London ( hosted a lunch-time lecture entitled “the unexpected rebuilding costs of sustainable buildings.” This talk looked at Climate Change, the world’s response with the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and what has happened subsequently. From the point of view of property losses and insurance, rebuilding has many and far-reaching consequences. A lot of what we see today by way of building codes and conventions, rules and procedures was set out in the United Kingdom in 2009 and about the same time in other signatory countries. How did the rulings of the protocol get translated into legislation and what scientific and technological developments require an underwriter to think outside the box? For example, what about the effect of a hail storm on your new photovoltaic cells/solar panel? Gen Re ( has looked at this and their article on Green Construction issues is worth reading. We are grateful to Mr Geoff Piggot, regional claims manager of Gen Re in London for this article and those who have questions can reach him at


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