Year XV / 2010


With the eagerly-awaited Northern summer just around the corner, we have pleasure in presenting issue 53 of Trébol. This new release covers several very different areas of interest but as ever, all of them are subtly linked to our core activities of insurance and reinsurance.

Aquaculture, which is the breeding of aquatic species in captivity, is a segment that will help to meet the demand for food from this source, given that hauls of wild-caught fish have reached their upper limit. Many aquaculture farms are set up as high-tech enterprises involving major investments, so they call for insurance which usually combines damage and sickness cover. Victoria Alday, a veterinary surgeon and doctor of aquatic pathology suggests that in order to cover the bio-health aspects, we should follow a risk evaluation protocol for diseases in aquatic animal breeding centers; details are given in this issue.

From Missouri in the USA, the staff of Shelter Insurance tell us that they understand storms. The firm's geographical business scope includes areas that are hit by 90% of all the tornados that occur in the world, and they also have to cope with hurricanes. However, Shelter has decided to improve the professionalism of its catastrophe management, which enables the company to provide clients with the services promised by the agents when the policies were sold. Anna Hargis, Director of Advertising, describes the technology in which Shelter has invested to improve its claim management, as well as the methods used to evaluate the effectiveness of its procedures. Among many other benefits that clients have enjoyed, Shelter was one of the few companies not to be sued by insureds due to the chaos following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Our genetic inheritance is our "ID card", and medical genetics is the science that deals with the diagnosis of hereditary illnesses. Dr. Luis Izquierdo, a specialist in this field who holds a masters in medical genetics from the University of Glasgow (Scotland), confirms that it is impossible to reverse the action of a gene in a human being. With early identification, however, it is feasible to prevent a person from suffering the consequences of an illness of this sort thanks to simple lifelong treatment.

Ghislain Laurent, Director of the MAPFRE RE office in Brussels, says that 35 years in the reinsurance business have been more of a way of life than a job. Like all seasoned professionals, he has come through the crises that have hit the sector in recent years, but he describes them as "challenges" and sees them as sources of "motivation" to get the industry back on track for business growth. With the same thirst for knowledge and interest in understanding the international dimension that have been the hallmarks of his career, Ghislain is retiring this June to travel the world and take occasional breaks on the French Riviera. On behalf of Trébol, and with our thanks for your constant generosity, we wish you all the best for your new travels.