Atlas Magazine February 2009

Back to insurance

The economic growth of recent decades is witnessing a notable slowdown. Some countries are in recession while others are scrambling around for a way out through bailout rescue plans worth tens and hundreds of billions of dollars. Yet finding such huge sums in such difficult times is not at the reach of every country.

Insurance is not immune from the chaos. After AIG, it is now time for America's first motor insurer, Allstate, to be caught up in the eye of the storm.

Once renowned for its surety and for the quality of its management, Swiss Re is suffering. It is struggling to maintain its rating. Speculative insurance markets such as the Bermudas and Dubai are lying low. It is no longer time for splendour and cocktail parties.

More transparency and realism are required to give insurance a second wind. The solution is quite simple: more insurance and less “bling-bling”.

Insurers have to go back to their genuine craft which is about creating insurance products, selling them, managing them and paying claims.

Excessive financing and communication have led insurers to a dead-end.

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