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The Value of Risk

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$81.95 (inc GST) $74.50 (exc GST)
1.05 KGS
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Product Description

The Value of Risk: Swiss Re and the History of Reinsurance is the first book to describe comprehensively the history of reinsurance. Based largely on primary sources, The Value of Risk provides an overview of how today's reinsurance industry developed. It investigates for the first time the role of reinsurers in a changing risk, economic, and market environment.

Provides a professional angle on current topics such as risk, disasters, and financial crises. Reinsurance is an invisible service industry which enables insurance companies to insure more risks and to make better use of their resources. Until recently, reinsurers were only known to a small minority outside the insurance community. Major disasters, especially those caused by natural catastrophes, have increasingly brought the industry into the spotlight. Yet what is perceived today by a wider public still only represents a fraction of the industry, and the mechanisms of reinsurance to deal with global risk exposure are virtually unknown.

Readership: Professionals within the insurance and reinsurance industry, and related associations and regulatory bodies

Edited by: Harold James, Peter Borscheid, David Gugerli and Tobias Straumann.

ISBN: 9780199689804

Publisher: Oxford University Press | 19 December 2013

Format: Hardback, 464 pages | Numerous colour plates | 246x171mm

Harold James explains the fundamental principles of insuring and outlines the evolution of the industry in his introductory essay.

In Part I, Peter Borscheid describes in detail the global spread of modern insurance, which emerged in the late eighteenth century amidst ideas of rationalism which attempted to quantify risk in monetary terms, the setbacks it encountered, and how the market environment changed over time. Professional reinsurance emerged with the rise in insured risks in the industrialising mid-nineteenth century. By the time the San Francisco Earthquake happened in 1906 the reinsurance industry had become well established and showed a remarkable ability to deal collectively with the catastrophe.

David Gugerli describes in Part II how the industry as a whole dealt with such challenges but also the numerous exposures to a changing risk landscape.

Against this background, in Part III Tobias Straumann examines the history of the Swiss Reinsurance Company, founded in 1863, providing a fascinating example of how professional risk taking was developed over the last 150 years.


  • Walter B. Kielholz: Preface:  
  • Introduction: The Insuring Instinct Harold James:
  • Part I: Global Insurance Networks Peter Borscheid:  1: The Early Years  2: Expansion  3: Backlash  4: Division  5: Times of Crisis
  • Part II: Cooperation and Competition Organization and Risks in the Reinsurance Business, 1860 - 2010 David Gugerli:  6: Introduction  7: Reinsurance Comes into its Own 1860-1960  8: Structural Problems and Diagnostic Diversity 1960-1980  9: The Global Market and Liberalisation 1980-2010  10: Conclusion
  • Part III: The Invisible Giant The Story of Swiss Re, 1863-2013 Tobias Straumann:  11: Introduction  12: Establishment  13: Crash and Salvation  14: Crossing The Pond  15: Reaching the Top  16: On the Precipice  17: Aversion and Adaptation  18: World War II  19: Growth and Cultural Change  20: The Big Restructuring  
  • Glossary  
  • Bibliography  
  • Index

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