October 2011

Talk Around the Bazaar

Further to the remarks in our Comment of the Month, the coverage of catastrophe losses is not restricted to insurance companies. Responsible governments are quickly learning to access and emulate the insurance skills in the private market in order to mitigate the financial consequences of natural disasters. As usual, Swiss Re has pulled a lot of this information together and this is available in the Sigma study entitled “State involvement in insurance markets.”   We highly recommend this to our readers. The press release can be found at www.swissre.com/media/news_releases/nr_20110831_sigma_study_state_involvement.html

For many years, foreign ownership of insurance companies in India has been restricted to 26%. Every now and then something gets leaked about this percentage being modified to 49% and straight away half the country is up in arms. What is it about India which makes it so excitable? Maybe one should ask an Indian! There is a lot of information in the cyber sphere and the website of Madaan & Co is a very good place to look into, as one can see at: www.madaan.com/investing.htm

Over the past couple of years microinsurance has really taken off. Commercial interest in China, India and Indonesia has increased at a fast pace. The Microinsurance Network was established in 2002 and members are representatives of donor organisations, multilateral agencies, international non-profit groupings as well as insurance professionals. For more about this network, please go to www.microinsurancenetwork.org and to access their newsletter, this can be found at www.microinsurancenetwork.org/newltr/fichier/MiN_Newsletter_24_EN.pdf

The Reinsurance Association of America has masses of information on its website. One section of particular interest is its Six Months Underwriting Report which can be accessed by scrolling down the page at www.reinsurance.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1

The Insurance Journal has reported that Swiss Re has applied for local reinsurance registration in Brazil. Local registration will allow the company to participate fully in the Brazilian market, as stated in www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2011/08/29/212669.htm

There are reports that changes in insurance regulation are coming in Nepal. Currently, the Insurance Regulatory Authority or Beema Samiti looks after insurance activities in the country. They have a clear and concise website at www.bsib.org.np

The Vienna Insurance Group (www.vig.com) is to enter the Bosnia Herzegovina market by taking a large stake in a local company, Jahorina Osiguranje (www.jahorinaosiguranje.com/eindex.html). More investment in the Balkans must take place before talks on accession to the European Union become a reality. The Insurance Insight magazine has a good report at www.insuranceinsight.eu/insurance-insight/news/2108900/vienna-insurance-breaks-bosnia-herzegovina-market

In a few days’ time the FERMA Risk Management Forum will take place in Stockholm. Two members have been accepted into the association: MARM of Malta and Sl. Risk of Slovenia.  There are now nineteen countries with members in FERMA. For other news and information, please go to www.ferma.eu

Just to confirm what we knew already, the Insurance Insight magazine tells us that the Dutch insurance sector has a stable outlook (www.insuranceinsight.eu/insurance-insight/news/2110336/stable-rating-outlook-dutch-insurance-sector). The Dutch market is the fourth largest in the seventeen member euro zone

From our good friend at the Insurance Services Network, ISN, we read something only the English people knew: www.isn-inc.com/news/news.aspx?nid=3056&cid=4

To us, some of the laws in Bhutan are obscure and so we defer to the local newspaper, the Kuensel for the latest news relating to need to insure risks and exposures within the country with local carriers. The report we received shows that the rules as set out by the Royal Monetary Authority need tightening (www.kuenselonline.com/2010/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=20761)

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

  • IBM’s motto is “Think”
  • Hot water is heavier than cold