Economia do Seguro

Francisco Galiza

Francisco Galiza

Mestre em Economia (FGV); membro da ANSP (Academia Nacional de Seguros e Previdência); autor do livro “Economia e Seguro – Uma Introdução” (3ª edição); coordenador da Revisão do Dicionário da Funenseg, em 2011; professor do MBA-Seguro e Resseguro (FUNENSEG); sócio da empresa Rating de Seguros Consultoria (www.ratingdeseguros.com.br).

Um Elogio ao Seguro

Comentários Econômicos - 30/11/2012

Nesse mês, após o furacão Sandy, o importante jornal britânico especializado em economia "Financial Times" fez um editorial com elogios à presença do seguro na sociedade.

É oportuno destacar alguns pontos do texto:

  • O segmento como fator de bem estar social, compensando as perdas das pessoas e empresas em seus momentos mais críticos.
  • O seguro foi uma das grandes invenções da humanidade, proporcionando a transferência do risco daqueles que procuram proteção para aqueles com uma estratégia oposta.
  • O editorial ressalta a importância da regulação para a manutenção de um mercado com condições justas.
  • Para os países de menor renda, deve-se buscar o aumento da presença do seguro entre seus habitantes, sobretudo pelo fato de os meios de subsistência destes serem extremamente vulneráveis ​​a desastres naturais ou a outros infortúnios.

Abaixo, o texto original:

FINANCIAL TIMES

EDITORIAL, November 9, 2012
Praise to insurers

As residents of the US eastern seaboard patch up their lives amid the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, one fact offers consolation: insurance will compensate many of them for at least a share of their material losses. It is a good occasion to acknowledge the good that financial businesses can do. While finance has been maligned as a "socially useless" activity, some financial services are essential contributors to human wellbeing. Insurance is among them.

The lost lives and vanished homes cannot be brought back. But for many storm victims, insurance companies may well end up covering half of the total material damage, estimated at up to $50bn. A functioning insurance market mitigates people's losses and helps them to get back on their feet.

There is of course no need to be rosy-eyed about the insurance industry: the companies are in it for the money. The dispute on whether Sandy was a "hurricane" or a "post-tropical cyclone", which determines the size of the deductibles, is unseemly albeit unavoidable. So, in the past, was the sorry quarrel about whether 9/11 attacks were two separate acts of terrorism or a single insurable event.

But overall, insurance companies make their profits by shifting risk from those seeking protection to those willing to take a risk. This is not only efficient. It also means that those afflicted by disaster receive more humane treatment than would be possible with only charity to rely on.

Next to technology, insurance is one of humanity's great inventions to free itself from dominance by nature and vulnerability to acts of God. Its usefulness was starkly illustrated in 2010, when earthquakes hit Haiti and Chile only weeks apart. While tragic, Chile's loss of life and property was tiny compared to Haiti's. In part this was thanks to better construction rules. But Chileans were also better insured, and much of the monetary burden was lifted by an international insurance industry.

Insurance markets can still be improved, however. In the US, flood insurance is often subsidized, encouraging more people to live in flood-prone areas than would otherwise be the case. There and elsewhere, good regulation is essential.

But in many cases, the problem is lack of insurance, particularly among the world's poorest. Part of what keeps them in poverty is that their livelihoods are so vulnerable to natural disasters or other misfortune. Millions could be released from poverty traps by deeper and broader insurance markets.

What is true of insurance applies to other fields of finance. The financial sector's basic function is to shift risk from those who are unwilling to bear it to those who are, and to channel capital from savers to those with investments to fund. Finance is socially useful so long as it fulfils this mission.

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