The tail end of 2016 and then the whole of 2017 saw an unprecedented level of catastrophic events all over the world. The mature (and well insured) US Insurance market was rocked by hurricanes and wildfires, whilst the rest of the world was no less impacted with several deadly cyclones and earthquakes.

Swiss Re, one of the world's largest reinsurance entities, shared their results in stark detail, allowing us to see that Property & Casualty Insurance and Reinsurance (which have seen consecutive years of profitability and growth) suffered from major losses, delivering combined ratios of 133.4% (Ins) and 111.5% (ReIns). One might expect this to mean that the group as a whole would run at a loss, but the continuing strong performance of their Life & Health Reinsurance division meant as a whole the group remained profitable (albeit at nowhere near previous levels). Hence my point about the importance of diversification...