Taming the cat

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By Ghalid Bagus | 01 September 2007
As a new risk-management tool, catastrophic-mortality risk securitization enhances the capacity of the life insurance industry by transferring catastrophic mortality losses to the capital markets. Reinsurers are recognizing that, despite pooling their exposure to risk, they may not be able to handle the capital obligation brought about by a large-scale terrorist attack or, more likely, a pandemic. In turn, they are looking for alternative risk-transfer mechanisms in capital markets. For an increasing number of reinsurers (as well as primary insurers), mortality catastrophe bonds provide the answer.