Catastrophic Risks as a Challenge Faced by the Insurance Market
Since the very beginning of the world four elements have been known to exist: earth, water, air and fire. On the one hand, they are prerequisites for existence and development of the world since they shape this world, form its lie of the land and affect evolution of mankind. On the other hand, the elements in question bring about or are the cause of numerous catastrophes - so called natural disasters - whose effects foil achievements of civilisations and claim hundreds of victims. Paradoxically, it is possible to say that natural disasters as well as those connected with civilisation do affect development of civilisation since newer, better and more modem security systems are created as a result of events experienced. Catastrophic events pose a less serious threat to mankind when the causes of their origin and their course are better recognised. However, such events still result in higher and higher material damages. Economic losses and amounts of compensations paid are still growing, e.g. as a result of some increase in population, development of socio-economic infrastmcture or expansion of housing into new areas that are exposed to natural disasters (urbanised areas located on rivers or hillsides, etc.). Besides, technological progress favours development of catastrophic risks that have not been known so far and therefore that have not been taken into consideration in any insurance activity. As authors of many publications within insurance highlight, non-life insurance enjoys high development prospects all over the world including Polish insurance market as well. Such a thesis can be undoubtedly confirmed in case of catastrophic risk insurance and its development in the background of ongoing global changes. (fragment of text)
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