Atlas Magazine May 2011

Between fear and hope

While signs of economic recovery are being confirmed with the publication of the 2010 balance sheets in net improvement, reinsurers are once more hunted by skepticism.

The year 2011 is looming badly. Munich Re, the world’s insurance business leader, is posting results below expectations as at 31 March 2011. Other reinsurers are following the footsteps of Munich Re.

It was from Oceania that the first signs of concern came with disastrous floods in Australia and a major earthquake in New Zealand.

The Arab spring then ensued with its share of riots and uprisings. Starting from Tunisia, then relayed by Egypt, this movement is now spreading in Yemen and Syria. No country in the region is safe from revolt.

In Africa, piracy on the shores of Somali coasts is straining transportation results while Côte d’Ivoire, the economic backbone of Western Africa, is sinking into civil war triggering turmoil and unrest in neighbouring countries.

But, it was from Japan that the final blow came; earthquake, tsunami and a nuclear accident have caused a loss of unprecedented scale in a hyper-developed economic environment.

We only hope that loss experience will be milder for the remainder of the year 2011, and that the European financial crisis and the American deficit will not hinder the growth of premiums volume.

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