Protests in North Africa and the Middle East

Clearly there has been considerable property damage as a result of the recent civil disturbances but the extent will not be clear for some time, particularly as protests continue in several countries.

As supporters of international trade, insurers will have a variety of exposures in the region but because of the generally limited nature of the events, will not be seriously affected, at least in the short term.

There has been an entirely different regime response in Libya but here Western insurers have tended to stay away due to the country’s past volatility and political isolation. For that reason, exposures are not expected to be significant other than in oil related industry.

If an authoritarian regime comes to power, further western sanctions are possible - that would have consequences for oil traders and consumers beyond the effect on Libya itself.