Is there any connection between mounting Lloyd's losses and the oldest insurance market's attitude to risk?
In a light-hearted 'balloon' debate at Lloyd's called 'Whose risk is it anyway?', members of the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) were asked to vote for the risk transfer mechanism that inspired the most confidence.
By the end of the evening, the audience of corporate treasurers had rejected self-insurance, derivatives and alternative risk transfer in favour of good old insurance.
The case for insurance was led by Hiscox chairman Robert Hiscox (pictured) with his typical enthusiasm.
"Insurance and reinsurance remain the only truly flexible, socially inclusive, politically correct method of transferring risk," said Hiscox.
"The others are caviar and lobster – jolly nice but for special occasions only for the rich, and rare."
He also commented that health and safety regulations would not have allowed the balloon debate to leave the ground in the first place without the proper insurance.
The case for self-insurance was made by Paul Bawcutt, chairman of Risk & Insurance Research Group. While Marilyn Fichte, managing director of Gerling Group Financial Products Europe, made the case for securitisation, and Nick Mooney, director of Weather Risk Management at Enron, made the case for derivatives.
The evening was chaired by Max Taylor, chairman of Lloyd's.