Beyond Insurance

We’ve said before that our industry has a powerful story to tell in terms of the major contribution it makes to state, local and national economies, and a new report from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) highlights this very point. The study shows that property/casualty insurers held investments of more than $320 billion in municipal bonds at the end of 2005, helping fund the construction of schools, roads and hospitals and support a variety of other public sector activities. Nearly one-fourth (23 percent) of those investments funded education-related activities and projects, according to the IRC. Municipal bonds for projects involving public utilities made up 15 percent of the total combined value of all municipal bonds held by p/c insurers, while transportation-related bonds accounted for 12 percent. I.I.I. research dovetails with the IRC report, showing that the industry as a whole (p/c and life) held some $3.5 trillion in stocks and bonds in 2005. For further information on the myriad ways in which insurance supports the economy, check out our online publication “A Firm Foundation†.  

One thought on “Beyond Insurance”

  1. You’ve hit the nail right on the head with this Claire. Personally, I don’t think the industry does nearly enough to publicise the vital contribution it makes towards economic growth and stability, both domestically and globally.

    Members of the CEA, the European insurance and reinsurance federation, for example employ over one million people and invest more than €6,300bn (US$8,419bn) in economic growth and development (see the following link for report Yet you mention at a party that you work in insurance and people suddenly get that far away look in their eye and head for the buffet.

    The industry needs to make more of what it does to help policyholders rebuild their lives when misfortune strikes, whether it’s a disaster on a personal level or one that affects the general population more widely. It should also publicise the importance of insurance towards encouraging economic development, innovation and modernisation. Sadly, as both you and I know only too well being ex-journalists, the media isn’t always interested in good news – bad is far sexier. What we need is for every one in the industry to play a part in raising awareness of the sector and all the good it does.

    So here goes. Next time you’re at a party and you’re asked what you do, take a deep breath, hold your head high and state that you work in the insurance industry and then explain why. Say it loud and say it proud!

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