Risk and the Insurance Business in History
Definitions of risk and liability vary between cultures, and the boundary between voluntary and involuntary risks is a moveable one that is socially, rather than scientifically, constructed. What is regarded as a normal risk changes not only with technology and knowledge, but also with cultural and social institutions. Risk assessment, measurement and management – the essence of insurance – are also impinge on political questions. Most of the papers included in this book show that state supervision sometimes had significant repercussions on the structure, efficiency and profitability of the insurance market, while at other times it brought about reforms that could be costly and unnecessary for the business, and yet, in some cases, particularly in times of crisis, helped companies survive.