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The Value of RiskSwiss Re and the History of Reinsurance$
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Harold James, Peter Borscheid, David Gugerli, and Tobias Straumann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199689804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689804.001.0001

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Reinsurance Comes Into its Own 1860–1960

Reinsurance Comes Into its Own 1860–1960

(p.154) Chapter 7 Reinsurance Comes Into its Own 1860–1960
The Value of Risk

Harold James

Peter Borscheid

David Gugerli

Tobias Straumann

Oxford University Press

The idea of dedicated reinsurance companies was a new concept in the mid nineteenth century. Reinsurers were finding themselves exposed to larger than expected losses as the young industry struggled to create a position for itself in a market where insurers tended to offload mainly bad risks. Reinsurance started coming into its own only towards the end of the nineteenth century. By the time of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, reinsurance had established itself as a market force but it took a long time before it got organized via associations, meetings or a common publication platform. Reinsurers tended to adapt to the market via their client dealings, i.e. relying on the organizational forms of direct insurance. The post-Second-World-War period, however, brought about an entirely new set of risks. The magnitude and complexity of the new risks combined with negative technical results called for a new business model.

Keywords:   industrialization, market conditions, start up, San Francisco earthquake, business model

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