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Insurance: 180 years of the often good, sometimes bad and occasionally downright ugly

January 5, 2021

One of the great joys of 2020 was being asked to contribute to the series of historical reviews to commemorate 180 years of continuous publication of Post Magazine, now known as Insurance Post. Researching, interviewing and writing several articles for the ambitious series was a wonderful way of escaping from the turmoil of a blighted year.

The final article in the series was a review of the chaotic years of scandal, losses, fraud and eventual reform and reconstruction at Lloyd’s in the 1980s and 1990s. This was a period that I experienced first hand as editor of Insurance Age (from 1982) and then Post Magazine (from 1986) and immersing myself in it for a few weeks brought many memories flooding back. It was also an opportunity to speak to many people who were involved in the market then and I am grateful to them for giving me so much of their time and sharing their recollections and insights.

Insurance Post kindly let me share the final article more widely: it can be downloaded here.

The other articles I contributed to the 180th anniversary series during the year were:

War & Terrorism in the 19th and 20th centuries – charting the impact of war and terrorism on the British insurance market and its contribution to the major conflicts of the last 150 years

Post-War Corporate Collapses – including Fire, Auto and Marine, Vehicle & General, Equitable Life and Independent

Tackling Arson – including the notorious 1920s Fire Raiser Leopold Harris and his 1990s counterpart Peter Scott

19th Century insurance Frauds – some of the most colourful and gruesome frauds ever perpetrated

Other articles in the series looked at the revolution of direct insurance and the topsy-turvy years of rapid expansion and merger mania that swept loss adjusting – Part 1 and Part 2

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