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The minimum necessary sample size required for the insurance company to meet their criteria is:

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• Customers can buy appropriate products at an affordable price
• Customers are protected from malpractice by or the mismanagement of insurance companies
• There is confidence that the insurer will pay a claim
• Insurers are allowed to generate sufficient returns on the capital invested to make it worthwhile continuing to participate in the market
• The market is seen to operate in an environment of openness, confidence and trust

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• Financial Services & Markets Act (2000)
• The Financial Services Handbook (resulting from above act)
• Various Insurance Companies Acts
• Insurance-specific taxation rules

As with all other organisations Insurance companies operate in an environment where they are subject to various legislative and regulatory requirements. Examples of regulation affecting a non-life insurer:


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• Capacity – as mentioned already one of the reasons an insurer will look to reinsure is to increase their capacity. Insurers are required to provide a guarantee of solvency in the event of large or multiple losses occurring and this means their underwriting capacity can be restricted by their financial reserves. Reinsurance allows insurers to take on single risks which they otherwise would be unable to do due to capacity.
• Catastrophe Protection – the basic principles of insurance also applies to insurers who must also protect themselves from financial catastrophe. Accumulations of loss e.g. the impact of a large number of claims from small value policies can accumulate to the point where they result in what would be considered a catastrophic loss. In addition to reinsuring single risks cover can be taken to insure specific events such as storms or floods that can result in an accumulative effect.
• Loss-spreading and stabilisation – by purchasing reinsurance (at a known and affordable cost) insurers can reduce the level of uncertainty they face, thereby encouraging investment and satisfying shareholder demands. Reinsurance also helps stabilise the insurance market as a whole, allowing risks to be spread on a global basis rather than just in the domestic market. This is particularly important for insurers who only operate in a country that is prone to natural disaster.
• Confidence – Reinsurance can allow insurers to enter a new market with some level of confidence. Insurers base their underwriting decisions on claims data generated over years of experience and for new markets accurate data will be less readily available. By heavily reinsuring at the early stages of entering a new market they can do so with less risk while they gain the necessary experience of the market. Insurers can also make use of the expertise of reinsurers and gauge their own underwriting pricing structure on the cost of reinsurance.
• Regulatory compliance – this will be discussed in the next topic however regulation dictates that insurers must hold certain levels of capital and guarantee a certain level of solvency. Reinsurance allows insurers to expand and take on risks whilst still meeting any minimum regulatory requirements.

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Reinsurance is a further means of spreading risk and has been in existence since insurance itself began to emerge. Insurance companies are bound by their underwriting capacity in terms of what risks they can write. Underwriting capacity can be affected by numerous internal and external constraints including capital, underwriting expertise, type of business, regulation etc. In order to increase capacity an insurer will turn to reinsurance, reinsurers therefore insure primary insurers.

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Private car insurance
The minimum statutory insurance for the UK is for third party liability but this is usually combined with cover against loss by fire or theft. A comprehensive policy will also include accidental damage and windscreen cover. Personal motor insurance can be extended to cover personal accident, personal possessions, legal expenses, etc.