”Magisterial survey” with mischievous humour recognised in award sponsored by Pool Re, the UK’s terrorism reinsurer
The 2018 Airey Neave Book Prize has been awarded to The Secret World: A History of Intelligence, written by Professor Christopher Andrew, by a panel of experts assessing the most valuable contribution to the understanding of terrorism.
The work of popular scholarship covers the field of professional intelligence from the second-century BC to the 1990s, including assassinations, misinformation and subterfuge. One of the independent judges, Professor Michael Clarke of the Royal United Services Institute, commented:
“Although it is the culmination of a lifetime’s scholarship in intelligence studies, there is a mischievous humour in the writing with examples of plots, spies, devices, heists and chancers. At several points it made me laugh out loud. It runs from the Old Testament to Islamic State and Xi Jinping, encompassing 3000 years of recorded history: a magisterial survey of a major subject which has been sadly neglected.”
The award commemorates Airey Neave MP who was killed by a car bomb at the House of Commons car park in 1979, planted by the Irish National Liberation Army. It is sponsored by Pool Re, the UK’s terrorism reinsurer, which supports the insurance industry in covering losses from any terrorist attack, helping to bolster the country’s economic resilience. Pool Re also has its own in-house Terrorism Research and Analysis Centre to contribute to the understanding of this field. Its CEO, Julian Enoizi, presented the author with the £5,000 prize at a ceremony in Central London.
The prize winner, Christopher Andrew, is Professor Modern and Contemporary History at Cambridge University and Chair of the British Intelligence Study Group.
Publications details of The Secret World: A History of Intelligence can be found here.
The Airey Neave Trust was established in memory of Airey Neave, to further research and understanding in relation to Freedom under the Law, and also the analysis of terrorist violence and how best to respond to it.
About Pool Re
Pool Re was formed in 1993 by the insurance industry in cooperation with the UK Government in the wake of the IRA bombing campaign on the UK mainland. Structured as a commercial reinsurer, Pool Re is a mutual whose member insurers comprise the vast majority of insurers and Lloyd’s Syndicates which offer commercial property insurance in Great Britain. Ceding their terrorism risk to Pool Re affords member customers a guarantee ensuring that they can provide cover for losses resulting from acts of terrorism, regardless of the scale of the claims.
Pool Re is recognised as a leading example of public/private partnership. It is owned by its Members but is underpinned by an HM Treasury commitment to support the company if ever it has insufficient funds to pay a legitimate claim. In return for that commitment, Pool Re pays a fee to Government and in addition, were it ever to use this support, it would repay the money over time from future premium receipts.
However, in the event of a loss resulting from an act of terrorism, each member cedant must first pay losses up to a threshold which is determined individually for that insurer. When losses exceed that threshold, the insurer can claim upon Pool Re’s reserves, which now stand at approximately £6.3 billion. These reserves have been accumulated by Pool Re since its inception. It is only in the event that these reserves and the company’s commercial reinsurance are exhausted, that Pool Re would require Government support.
Pool Re has evolved during the course of its history into a comprehensive ecosystem for reinsuring terrorism risk. Since April 2018, Pool Re has extended its cover to include material damage and direct business interruption caused by acts of terrorism using a cyber trigger. In addition, on 22 March, 2018, the Government announced its commitment to amend the 1993 Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act to enable Pool Re to extend its cover to include non-damage business interruption losses resulting from acts of terrorism, thereby closing a protection gap that had emerged. The amendment to the originating legislation, contained within the Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill, will if passed ensure a comprehensive response from Pool Re to acts of terrorism in the UK. In both cases, Pool Re is the first of the global terrorism pools to overtly extend its cover to include these threats, demonstrating the strength of public/private partnership in disaster risk financing.
No longer a simple mechanism for providing compensation, today Pool Re partners with various academic institutions in order to better understand the threat of terrorism. In conjunction with its sponsoring of a Professor of Terrorism Risk Mitigation at Cranfield University, Pool Re’s research and analytics department provides threat analysis and modelling to insurers so as to stimulate the commercial insurance market by enabling it to understand, asses and ultimately price terrorism risk with a view to assuming more of that risk over time.
Pool Re also works to increase economic resilience by, for example, providing incentives in the form of premium reductions for end customers who implement protective security measures accredited by the government.
Pool Re is a founding member of the International Forum of Terrorism Risk (Re)Insurance Pools (IFTRIP). Established in 2016, IFTRIP is aimed at fostering closer ties and allowing for greater collaboration between the world’s terrorism disaster risk financing mechanisms. IFTRIP is comprised of national terrorism risk entities from thirteen countries.
Over its 25 year history, Pool Re has dealt with 16 separate certified terrorism claims totalling £635m. Since March 2015, Pool Re’s financial resilience has been augmented by a commercial reinsurance placement. This re-engages the global market in aggregated UK terrorism for the first time since 1993, and additionally provides protection to both Pool Re’s assets, and the UK taxpayer. Pool Re continues to explore the goal of market normalisation by, for example, examining the possibility of a ground-breaking ILS placement.