April 2011

Talk Around the Bazaar

The situation in the Middle East is of great concern to many. The clash of cultures, the economic and political pressures and the escalating violence are not good. The whole world is watching the region and from the insurance and risk perspective a lot can be tracked. Beazley, the specialist insurer and Lloyd’s underwriter traces developments of Political Risks and Violence on their map: http://www.beazley.com/business_lines/political_risks__contingency/political_risks__violence_map.aspx 

Following the events in Japan, Korea is considering introducing state-backed earthquake insurance. KBS World has a well-written article at http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/news_newissue_detail.htm?No=2479

Meanwhile Taiwan has just installed its first underwater earthquake detection system as advised by http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2011/03/25/295984/Quake-warning.htm

India had mooted the creation of a Nuclear Insurance Pool last year but progress was slow. Now, there is a new urgency as set out by the Business Standard at http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/nuclear-insurance-pool-creation-fast-tracked/429414/

Nepal is to investigate converting the Emergency Insurance Pool into a reinsurance company. It is hoped that this will stem the flow reinsurance premiums out of the country. The magazine República reports this at http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=28732

MicroFinance Africa reports that the Nepalese Insurance Board is pushing for more energy to be put into Pensions and Microinsurance. For more, please go to http://microfinanceafrica.net/tag/micro-pension/

Actuaries in the E.U. may have to look again before helping insurance companies with calculating insurance premiums for motor insurance: gender does not count any more. What the bureaucrats fail to recognise in their ruling explained in the EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/22/31902) is that if dainty young ladies are an equal risk to testosterone-loaded young blokes, then George Orwell’s comment about some people being more equal than others takes on a new meaning

Vietnam is preparing a pilot agricultural insurance scheme for poor farmers to help them against natural disasters and endemics. Vietnam Business News has an informative article at http://vietnambusiness.asia/local-insurers%E2%80%99-heads-yet-to-be-turned-by-agriculture/

Not long ago Brazil altered the rules which had been greeted with enthusiasm because they represented a welcome step in opening up the domestic insurance market. They are now taking a step back. Amongst the most vociferous in their complaints was FERMA as ISN eloquently reports with http://www.isn-inc.com/news/news.aspx?nid=2727&cid=1 

We are constantly reminded that a smile can open more doors than a frown and an element of humour makes a tough day more bearable. A rather rich man recently wrote a letter to his shareholders and there was renewed energy when they read this http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2010ltr.pdf

JCN Network tells us that one of Japan’s leading trading houses, Itochu, is to launch a reinsurance broking company in Singapore. For the full story, see http://www.japancorp.net/Article.Asp?Art_ID=23764   and it will be apparent that Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore are working well together

Following the opening of offices in Poland and Stockholm last year, Lloyd’s has now opened one in Rotterdam , only to find out that Amsterdam was doing it long before Edward Lloyd entertained underwriters and others in the 1660s. Lloyd’s announcement can be found at http://www.lloyds.com/Lloyds/Press-Centre/Press-Releases/2011/03/Lloyds-opens-Benelux-office while ISN has the full text of the opening by Lord Levene at http://www.isn-inc.com/news/news.aspx?nid=2715&cid=4

In the United States, the Federal Insurance Office is beginning to take shape as you can read in Business Insurance’s article, http://www.businessinsurance.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110317/NEWS/110319908

As we dream about the ideal place to live, McKinsey gives us food for thought at https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/home.aspx

Did you know? Here are some interesting facts which could come in handy to know…

  • The tuatara lizard of New Zealand has three eyes – two in the centre of its head and one on top
  • The koala in Australia is one of the few land animals which does not need to drink water to survive