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Welcome to our Monthly Newsletter – December 2008

“Once again an eventful year has left an impression on all of us. We hope that all of our readers are able to cope with the many changes around the world and we wish you all an enjoyable Festive Season.” George Worsley, Director

An Established and Successful Force in International Insurance

Worldwide Risk Solutions is a U.K. based commercial organisation which has the sole objective of facilitating global business strategies and business development in the international insurance industry. For more information about us, please go to www.worldwiderisksolutions.com.

What Is Going On Out There?

While we continue to be surprised by daily announcements of household names suffering in the current financial crisis, we can still look for positive signs and find them. The insurance markets around the world are flourishing although some of the players are struggling. It is not always easy to predict when the cycle of change will arrive and the soft markets start to harden up. No one easily discernible factor can be identified but in key international markets around the world, rates are slowly moving up. The technical results of most insurance companies are good, showing that they are underwriting for profit, not for cash. Brokers are still able to negotiate good deals for their clients and the insureds and risk management community have been quietly satisfied with the array of products and services (and the cost) they are provided with. Basically, whatever is going on out there, people still need insurance and a healthy market with successful professional players is a credit to the industry. Also, as we say every month, there is an acquisition, a market entry, a new joint venture, something new locally, somewhere in the insurance world. We keep you abreast of these developments through our Talks Around the Bazaar.  

We are pleased to return to our Spotlight series and thank those readers who have been in touch with suggestions and recommendations: we really value your feedback on these articles and look forward to your ideas.  In our Spotlight series we will help you understand the way different markets around the world operate, so that those of you who do business there can feel more “at home abroad.” Different does not need to mean difficult but knowledge of the needs and characteristics of specific geographic markets is an advantage to those who are active in the global economy. This helps avoid misunderstandings and unfulfilled expectations.  If you would like to discuss your international strategies with us, please contact us. Details are below.


Tucked away in the Pyrenees is the Principality of Andorra, a parliamentary democracy with two princes. One is the president of France; the other is the bishop of Seo de Urgell in Spain.

To read the complete report on Andorra, Please Click Here (PDF Report).

In preparing this SPOTLIGHT article we have received invaluable assistance from Jori Armengol & Asociados, Correduría de Seguros, Barcelona (www.joriarmengol.com) for which we are grateful.

If you would like Worldwide Risk Solutions to conduct an economic, business and insurance survey of any international markets please contact us – Details below.

Worldwide Risk Solutions has access to a wide client base of internationally oriented organisations. Why not utilise this knowledge and experience? We can conduct a swift appraisal of your global activities or answer any questions you may have about international developments. Call +44 (0)1444 450 919 or send us an e-mail and we will respond immediately. And should you be passing through London, please let us know.

In our next Spotlight article we will be looking at the world of estimating, analysing, planning and preparing for the unexpected. There are experts whose niche is to help underwriters manage the future and we shall show you some of the ways they do it. For more information about any of the items discussed in the current or previous issues of WoRdS, please see our Contact Details.

For more information about any of the items discussed in the current or previous issues of WoRdS, please see our Contact Details

George Worsley, Director
Worldwide Risk Solutions
Telephone +44 (0)1444 450 919 Mobile: +44 (0)7968 191 511
E-mail info@worldwiderisksolutions.com

Talk Around the Bazaar

  • The British Standards Association has just launched a new standard entitled BS31100 Code of Practice for Risk Management. This benchmark for organisations to be able to control and manage risk could still help some companies trying to fend off the implications of the current financial crisis. A quick glance at this weblink will direct some readers to an organisation well-positioned to help.
  • Zurich Financial Services is the latest insurer to form a joint venture to provide takaful products and services in the Middle East. They have teamed up with Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company PSC to establish Zurich Takaful Company Ltd.  For a good outline of their strategy and further information click here.
  • In China the number of intermediaries is growing so quickly that the CIRC is to increase monitoring and supervising this important role player in the market. For a look at how the rules are at the moment, go to www.circ.gov.cn/Portal45/InfoModule_5501/38815.htm  
  • It looks like the long wait in India for foreign investors to be able to take larger stakes in local firms may be over. A bill which would make it possible to increase the foreign company’s stake from 26% to 49% has just been passed. However, it remains to be seen if this will come about. For full details, please go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/business/7702207.stm 
  • Also in India, the IRDA has given non-Life companies added flexibility with product design, enabling brokers and their clients the opportunity to benefit from tailor-made products – another reason why more foreign companies will see India as an increasingly attractive market for investment
  • Do you know who is the largest insurance company in the world? Is it the world’s largest Life carrier or the world’s largest non-Life carrier? What about the most costly losses last year or during the last ten years? For answers to these burning (sorry…) questions, go to the website of the International Insurance Institute, www.iii.org/international/toc/ 
  • More and more people are looking at early retirement and in those countries where there are more births than deaths, there is good potential for the younger generation to cater for the older one. Some countries encourage the nation’s awareness by producing a population clock. Once again Downunder, there is a race: to see who is better at it – see www.abs.gov.au/  and www.stats.govt.nz/default.htm
  • Amidst all this talk about the easy life, China is experiencing a lively debate on whether to raise the age for mandatory retirement in 2030 from 55 for women and 60 for men to 65 for both. It won’t affect most of us, but what do you think?
  • There is talk that with Paloma in the Caribbean, we have seen the last of the Hurricanes this season. For more information go to and www.air-worldwide.com/_public/index.asp and www.tropicalstormrisk.com/
  • And if, when you are looking at some of the locations getting battered, or just about to, you need to know the local time, ISN has just the answer www.isn-inc.com/countryinfo/phone_time.aspx
  • Officials from China’s and Taiwan’s insurance, banking and securities regulatory bodies have met to talk about a Memorandum of Understanding on opening their markets to each other’s brokers, insurers and banks. Please, no-one tell the politicians…
  • Reinsurance travellers have returned from Germany where the Baden-Baden Reinsurance Meeting was held. For those of you who have not yet been there, here is an impartial overview of this beautiful town  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baden-Baden
  • Chances are, that most people who went there will keep an eye on their captive clients by consulting the Captive Web Review whose website is www.captivereview.com/

  • Although it was well-represented in the Turkish market, Groupama is now amongst the market leaders following the acquisition of Güven Sigorta and Güven Hayat. This puts them in a superior place in the agricultural insurance market – one of their traditional specialities. Their website makes interesting reading.
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    We are currently discussing projects in the following markets and are regularly being asked to attend the annual conferences and meetings of the major networks:

    • Belgium
    • Canada
    • France
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • United Kingdom
    • U.S.A.

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    We continue to work with a growing number of networks to improve and expand their international capabilities.  If you have not already spoken to us about expanding your international markets, now might be the right time for us to conduct a feasibility study. For more information, please see the contact details below.

    What Clients Say

    “We continue to benefit from their worldwide network of contacts”

    “Worldwide Risk Solutions have good ideas based on down to earth, hands on experience”

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    Worldwide Risk Solutions LLP
    20 Blunts Wood Road
    Haywards Heath
    West Sussex
    RH16 1NB, England

    Telephone: +44 (0)1444 450 919
    Mobile: +44 (0)7968 191 511


    Skype Name: georgeworsley

    Information appearing in WoRdS is checked for technical accuracy but is not intended to provide a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Worldwide Risk Solutions accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material included in this newsletter.