Chapter

Middle East and Northern Africa: Overview

Peter Borscheid

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/9780199657964.003.0015
Middle East and Northern Africa: Overview

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This chapter discusses the development of the insurance industry in the Middle East and Northern Africa. European insurers stayed away from the region until the middle of the nineteenth century, although some among them were already underwriting risks there from the late eighteenth century. The first country in the Middle East where European insurance firms had a presence in the nineteenth century was Algeria, also a part of the Ottoman Empire. Two years after the end of a protracted war of conquest from 1830 to 1843, in which the French army brought the country under its control and European settlers poured into the country, the first French insurance company opened an agency in Algiers. After the end of the First World War, when certain countries pressed on with modernization programmes along European lines on which they had embarked during the nineteenth century, insurance was one aspect of European culture that they adopted, laying the foundations for insurance markets of their own. Such modernization met with the most spectacular success in Turkey, where a modern nation-state with unrestricted sovereignty arose from the ruins of the collapsed Ottoman Empire.

Keywords: insurance industry; insurance history; Algeria; Algiers; European insurers; Turkey

Chapter.  12354 words. 

Subjects: International Business

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