Book

The Value of Risk

Peter Borscheid, David Gugerli and Tobias Straumann

Edited by Harold James

Published in print December 2013 | ISBN: 9780199689804
Published online April 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191769450 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689804.001.0001
The Value of Risk

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This book provides an overview of how today’s reinsurance industry developed. Until recently, reinsurers were only known to a small minority outside the community. Major disasters, especially those caused by natural catastrophes, have moved 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. This book for the first time investigates the role of reinsurers in a changing risk, economic, and market environment. The editor, Harold James, explains the fundamental principles of insuring and outlines the evolution of the industry in his introduction. Modern insurance emerged in the late eighteenth century as an invention earmarked by the ideas of rationalism which attempted to quantify risk in monetary terms. Peter Borscheid describes the spread of this invention across the globe, the setbacks it encountered, and how the market environment changed over time. Professional reinsurance emerged with the rise in insured risks in the industrializing mid nineteenth century. By 1906 and the San Francisco earthquake, the reinsurance industry had become well established and showed a remarkable ability to collectively deal with the catastrophe. David Gugerli describes how the industry as a whole dealt with such challenges but also the numerous exposures to a changing risk landscape. Against this background, Tobias Straumann’s history of the Swiss Reinsurance Company, founded in 1863, provides a fascinating example of how professional risk-taking was developed over the last 150 years.

Keywords: Reinsurance; Swiss Re; insurance; risk; business history; financial services; globalization

Book.  464 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Business History ; Innovation

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Table of Contents

The Early Years in The Value of Risk

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Expansion in The Value of Risk

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Backlash in The Value of Risk

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Division in The Value of Risk

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Times of Crisis in The Value of Risk

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Introduction in The Value of Risk

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