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 emerging markets in Asia and Latin America 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. I would like to thank all of the contributors for their work in compiling this volume.
Insured losses in 2018 have been estimated at between US$79 billion and US$90 billion, a 40 per cent reduction from the disastrous 2017, but still above the 10-year average. While no single event stands out, the aggregation of losses from hurricanes Michael and Florence in the United States, and typhoons Jebi, Trami and Mangkhut in the Asia-Pacific region, along with earthquake losses and the California fires has been significant. Also noteworthy in 2018 were the number and scale of cyber events, including the huge data breaches of Facebook and Marriott International, which may be a portent of things to come. 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.
Looking ahead, 2019 is likely to see new developments and new legal issues. In particular, the impact of insurtech on the way in which insurance is underwritten, serviced and distributed will present challenges around the world. To reflect this, we have added a new chapter on artificial intelligence.
I hope that you find this seventh edition of The Insurance and Reinsurance Law Review of use in seeking to understand today's legal challenges, and I would like once again to thank all the contributors.
Ince Gordon Dadds LLP