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Highlights on Reinsurance History

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Edited By André Straus and Leonardo Caruana de las Cagigas

    Despite being one of the main pillars of the insurance industry, reinsurance is little known by the general public and is rarely the focus of academic study. In this book, the authors – economic historians and experts in the field from across Europe and Japan – seek to address this by shedding light on one of the most globalized of all economic activities. In a clear and engaging manner, they reveal the history of reinsurance in both national and international contexts, aiming to illuminate this vital, but often overlooked, aspect of insurance.

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    Global Insurance Market and Sergey Yu. Witte’s Economic Policy (Yury Petrov)

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    Global Insurance Market and Sergey Yu. Witte’s Economic Policy

    Yury Petrov

    In November 1894, Russia’s Minister of Finance Sergey Yu. Witte addressed to the Minister of Interior Pyotr N. Durnovo asking him to uphold the idea of founding a special company involved in the mutual reinsurance business with a view to reducing dependence of the Russian insurance industry on the global market. “It has been a long time”, the letter stated, “since national insurance companies began reinsuring most of their business with other companies of the same kind, but in so doing they have regretfully made their choice almost exclusively in favor of foreign companies. In the meantime, being detrimental to the insurance business as a whole, such an abnormal state of things has a negative impact on the country’s general economic interests”. “Striving to establish the national insurance industry”, Witte reported to have held a meeting with the representatives of thirteen leading Russian fire insurance companies who had accepted his idea. The Minister of Finance suggested to “introduce the issue for consideration by the Committee of Ministers in the nearest future”1.

    Witte’s letter laid the foundation of an interesting project enabling us to outline more accurately general framework of Russia’s economic policy in the late 19th century. In the course of debates over the Minister of Finance’s initiative, a number of materials were prepared containing the data missing in other sources which can substantially complement our entrenched attitudes towards interrelation between the...

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