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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Of flights and football

In the wake of recent Icelandic volcano eruptions, flight disruptions have caused mayhem for millions of passengers and cost billions to airlines — which the latter may not be able to recover from their insurers. The events have improved consumer awareness of travel insurance coverage for the affected travellers but, on the other hand, the insurance industry is reportedly considering new products that would provide compensation for the cancellation of flights due to future volcanic eruptions.

Having benefited from an extended holiday in Australia as the volcano continued to erupt, I am one of the luckier passengers as I suffered little inconvenience compared to many that have spent long nights on airport benches. We can only hope that EyjafjallajÖkull will continue to not blow her top again before travellers make their way to South Africa for the kick-off of FIFA World Cup 2010 on 11 June.

South Africa is the first World Cup host in Africa since the competition began in 1934. The nation appears to be ready to embrace this momentous challenge, boasting the sleek, new Gautrain service and impressive stadia around the country. In 2014, Brazil — another emerging market — will take centre stage as home to the most successful World Cup football team.

In this edition, Greg Becker and Arminder Kainth hypothesise about who is likely to win the World Cup. While the sporting world is captivated by that, insurers are getting to grips with Solvency II requirements; in an extended focus this month, Adam Koursaris, Victor Knava, Logan Nerio, Yves Colomb, Trevor Fannin, Andrew Rendell and Eleanor Beamond-Pepler share their thoughts on the topic and Kathryn Morgan provides a regulatory viewpoint.

Marjorie Ngwenya