The Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros (CCS) is a singular institution, in view of its nature and its functions, on an international scale. However, the CCS is not at all the only public organisation created for the purpose of providing affordable and practically universal insurance coverage for catastrophe risks. Many other countries have insurance programmes for one or several of these risks with public participation. This participation can be regulatory: an insurance undertaking or a pool of private insurers cover certain catastrophe risks, and the State articulates ways to make these systems feasible (compulsory nature of the insurance, tax incentives, etc.), or the public participation can translate into the presence of state-owned insurance undertakings that cover these risks with the indispensable cooperation of the private sector, such as the case of the CCS.
The ways to fill these market failures are many, as are also the risks covered; however, there is a common denominator: the coverage of catastrophic risks with some kind of public participation, which characterises many insurance programmes throughout the world. The World Forum of Catastrophe Programmes (WFCP) is an informal forum where a large number of the programmes existing in the world have the chance to share experiences and identify best practices and feasible solutions to confront the problems they face daily, which are much more common than the ways to respond to them. At the end of September 2018, the CCS organised the 12th meeting of the WFCP in Madrid, and that important event constitutes the central axis around which the ninth issue of the Consorseguros Digital magazine revolves. The analysis article is an overview of the WFCP and its history, as well as a description of the development of the 12th meeting. Three interesting contributions emanate from this article. The first one is signed by Prof. Paula Jarzabkowski and her colleagues from the Cass Business School and reflects the meeting’s keynote speech, based on her study, published recently, on the institutions half-way between public and private, created to mitigate the gap in the insurance coverage against catastrophic risks. The other two are part of the scientific talks complementing the content of the meeting: one by Miguel Llorente (IGME) and Jorge Macías (University of Malaga) on the need to properly assess the tsunami risk and the ways to do so, and another by David López and Juan Rebollo, from the CEDEX Centre for Hydrographic Studies, on the IBER model and its application to the study of floods.
Another important group of articles in this issue relates to automobile insurance, another of the major areas of activity of the CCS beyond catastrophic risks. José Antonio Badillo and Alejandro Izuzquiza contribute two different points of view (the ruling and its preliminary arguments) on an interesting case referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union which, in the end, sheds light on the compulsory third-party automobile insurance and the scope of the binding nature of that insurance. In the current events section, several CCS colleagues reported on the 4th Meeting on Impact Biomechanics, organised by Centro Zaragoza in that city, which also contributes many points of view, sometimes taking opposite positions, on this issue.
Finally, Antonio González signs a brief review of a book on robotics and law, which is unquestionably another key topic at the present time and which, the same as the rest of this issue, we hope will be of interest to our readers.