Friday, September 13, 2013

Unusual and Interesting Insurance News

Over the years, we've chronicled such things as virginity and alien abduction insurance (different posts), the risk posed by superheroes simultaneously destroying much of a city while trying to save it, and hole-in-one coverage for sporting events.

And now for more:

■ Terrorism Risk insurance - Back in 2009, we interviewed Chris Klein, Global Head of Business Intelligence for Guy Carpenter (major risk and reinsurance specialists), who explained why government involvement was necessary in providing reinsurance for major terrorist acts.

Four years later, The Cato Institute argues that the Federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) has passed its sell-by date:

"... the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 to create a “temporary” federal backstop against catastrophic losses. This program subsidized private risk with public funds through a cost-sharing program for which the government does not receive any compensation ... The private market is capable of underwriting this risk."

Interesting analysis.

■ On a brighter note, MassMutual recently kicked off a campaign to get parents looking at the topic of life insurance through the eyes of their children. Through a series of cute and compelling videos, MassMutual hopes to get this conversation kickstarted.

Here's a sample:

■ Finally, I know we've never blogged on this one before:

"The Mid-Autumn Festival (scheduled on Sept. 19), is one of China's biggest holidays and features a lantern festival, the exchange of mooncakes and dining with family and friends while gazing at the harvest moon."

Very interesting Henry, and now I'm hungry for some fried won-tons. But what's that got to do with insurance?

Ah, so:

"Residents of three cities—Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen—can buy insurance online for 20 Yuan (about $3) and be compensated for up to 50 Yuan if clouds obscure moon-viewing between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. on Sept. 19. The plan is being offered by Alibaba Small and Micro Financial Services Co. and Allianz Insurance China."

The plan's being offered in 41 other cities, as well, but at a higher premium. Still, this may be a true insurance bargain.

So if you're headed to China for this annual event, be sure to stop by the insurance counter (and bring a sweater).
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