Book | 2017

Managing Risk in Reinsurance: From City Fires to Global Warming

by Niels Viggo Hauter and Geoffrey Jones


This is the first book to provide a comprehensive history of the reinsurance industry from the nineteenth century to the present day. Reinsurance developed at the fringe of financial services and, for most of its existence, was largely unnoticed outside the expert community. However more recently public and professional sensitivity towards managing risks has increased. This book traces the global development of reinsurance and explores how the nature of risk itself has changed over time. It highlights key aspects that have shaped the evolving industry, including shifts in risk engineering and risk management, the development of actuarial science, and the impact of changes in political and regulatory contexts. The authors point to the special role reinsurers have played in the capitalist system. As the industry developed, it had a vested interest in preventing excessive risks, while also providing complex societies with a mechanism to limit the damage that natural and other catastrophes inflicted. This has led reinsurers, once a very secretive industry, to take increasingly public stances on the risk of human-induced climate change and the need to take urgent action to contain it.

Keywords: globalization; Insurance; risk management; business history; Globalization; Risk and Uncertainty; Financial Services Industry; Insurance Industry; Africa; Europe; Latin America; North and Central America; Asia;


Hauter, Niels Viggo and Geoffrey Jones, eds. Managing Risk in Reinsurance: From City Fires to Global Warming. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.