Chapter

Italy: Building on a Long Insurance Heritage

Giandomenico Piluso

in World Insurance

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199657964
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191744709 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657964.003.0007
Italy: Building on a Long Insurance Heritage

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This chapter traces the history of the Italian insurance industry. The fall of the Italian economy from its central position in the sixteenth century relegated it from the areas of strongest economic growth in Europe. This contrasted strongly with the innovative capacity of both the Italian insurance and credit markets during their period of primacy in the late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance. Italy was also an exception in the international arena. Early forms of insurance and associated instruments had already been developed in Imperial Rome. Subsequently, the first marine insurance and reinsurance contracts were drawn up in Genoa in the mid-fourteenth century. However, Italy's supremacy in this area vanished rapidly during the country's economic marginalization after the sixteenth century. In the early decades of the nineteenth century, insurance companies began to be established in various cities that triggered a slow and gradual convergence of the Italian insurance market with the more dynamic French, German, and Austrian markets.

Keywords: Italian insurance industry; insurance business; insurance market; marine insurance; reinsurance; insurance history

Chapter.  11969 words. 

Subjects: International Business

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