Ince & Co LLP
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It is hard to overstate the importance of insurance in personal and commercial life. It is the key means by which individuals and businesses are able to reduce the financial impact of a risk occurring. Reinsurance is equally significant; it protects insurers against very large claims and helps to obtain an international spread of risk. Insurance and reinsurance play an important role in the world economy. It is an increasingly global industry, with the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China developing apace.
Given the expanding reach of the industry, there is a need for a source of reference that analyses recent developments in the key jurisdictions on a comparative basis. This volume, to which leading insurance and reinsurance practitioners around the world have made valuable contributions, seeks to fulfil that need.
Looking back on the past year, market estimates suggest that the insured losses flowing from the explosion at the Port of Tianjin in China may well exceed US$3 billion. The losses will arise on a wide variety of policies ranging from cargo, property and ports and terminals insurance through to product liability and business interruption. Those policies will be subject to a range of governing laws. It is likely that there will be complex issues to consider in relation to each of these types of coverage, both at the direct insurance and reinsurance levels. The US winter storm of January 2016 is predicted to be a multi-billion dollar loss event. In the UK, December 2015 was the wettest on record. Denial of access to homes and businesses was significant, and the insurance market is braced for the ensuing losses.
Events such as these test not only insurers and reinsurers but also the rigour of the law. Insurance and reinsurance disputes provide a never-ending array of complex legal issues and new points for the courts and arbitral tribunals to consider.