IN unkind moments, critics of the insurance industry might say that the sector revels in misfortune, making money out of pessimism and encouraging its clients to prepare for the worst. Of course, like most unconditional statements about business, the truth is far off and is a lot more murky. While a perfect world would spell doom for the insurance industry, the damage wreaked to the industry by the September 11 crisis is as good a testimony as any that the appalling problems can be just as harmful.

It is the same with less traumatic ...

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