The Irony of War Profiteering: Wealthy Stakeholders and the Billion-Dollar War Insurance Gamble in Ukraine


War Insurance: A Safe Bet or High-Stakes Game?

Let me start with a simple definition. War risk insurance is like your typical insurance policy that gives you financial cover against loss, but with a twist. This policy kicks in when the unexpected happens – invasions, insurrections, riots, strikes, revolutions, military coups, and terrorism. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d say that’s one heck of a coverage plan!

Standard insurance policies often have war exclusions, because let’s face it, insurers are not too keen on paying out for that fighter jet that just dropped a bomb on your lovely three-story house. So, to cover their bases (pun fully intended), it is possible to purchase a separate war risk insurance rider.

War Insurance to Woo Private Investors: A High-Risk Courtship?

When G7, EU, and Ukrainian officials congregated in Berlin last October, a hot topic on the agenda was how to entice private sector involvement in Ukraine’s reconstruction. The keyword here was “enticement” and not “convince.”

Ukraine, like the charming host at this metaphoric party, suggested war insurance as the answer. The idea is to fund reconstruction via foreign investors who would pay premiums to protect themselves against losses from the ongoing war with Russia. So, yes, in a nutshell, we are talking about profiting from war.

A Presidential Push: “I Want My Cake and Eat It Too”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, while addressing global financial institutions, called for a mechanism to ensure military risks for new investment projects. Now that’s a solid sales pitch! “Come invest in my war-torn country, but don’t worry, you’ll have insurance against our daily bombings.” Talk about an attractive offer.

War Insurance: A Necessity or a Luxury?

According to recent reports, the World Bank pegged the cost of Ukraine’s reconstruction at a jaw-dropping $350 billion. I’m no mathematician, but that’s a lot of zeroes. Who’d put their money into a country at war? Well, as per a survey conducted by UkraineInvest, 89 percent of investors said they’d reconsider their stance if given investment guarantees or investment insurance.

So, war insurance seems like the key to unlocking these financial floodgates. But let’s be real – war risks are high, and insurers aren’t too eager to take on such costly risks.

Multilateral Investment Agency Guarantee: A Bigger Player Steps In

Enter MIGA, a World Bank group agency, the big fish in the pond of political risks insurance. MIGA underwrites these risks and charges a premium averaging 1 percent of the investment costs, but this can vary widely.

The World Bank, with its $17 billion Donor Trust Fund, is looking to aid Ukraine’s reconstruction. Ukraine, for its part, hopes some of these funds will be earmarked for providing war insurance, thereby reigniting private capital flow into the country.

Concluding Thoughts: A Complex Path to War Profiteering

In a realm where conflict has become yet another product on the marketplace, the question we must confront is, who genuinely reaps the rewards from this commodification of war? That’s a thought worth mulling over as you sip your morning brew.

By Samuel Lopez, Legal News Contributor for USA Herald