web_Life Insurance exercise

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Life insurance used to be a simple business. By pooling the longevity risk of individuals, insurance companies offered their customers peace of mind and financial security. But does that model work in an era in which life expectancy can vary dramatically depending on things like diet and exercise, and in which technology allows policies to be tailored to less risky consumers?

In his column this week, John Gapper argues that there is a difference between traditional forms of life insurance and bespoke personal life policies similar to private medical care or gym membership. Technology ensures that risk is being pooled less blindly than before.

What does this mean for the life insurance industry? One consequence could be that the cost of peace of mind for the unhealthy and unfit will rise steeply.

Janan Ganesh argues that the death of former US president George H W Bush is a reminder that direct experience of warfare was, for a generation of politicians, a pretty reliable inoculation against the temptations of ideology and extremism.

Roula Khalaf finds that defence ministers and policymakers around Europe are worrying about the effect that Brexit will have on UK-EU security co-operation.

Constanze Stelzenmueller suggests that Germany's defence of the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has created a foreign policy trap of Berlin's own making.

David Zweig, a China specialist based in Hong Kong, writes that the worsening trade war between Washington and Beijing should be seen as a skirmish in a wider battle for global technological hegemony.

What you’ve been saying

Parliament has already approved Brexit: letter from D R Myddelton, London, UK

It is sometimes suggested that there appears to be no parliamentary majority (in the House of Commons) for any course of action with respect to Brexit. But surely that is incorrect? Parliament has already voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU on March 29 2019, if necessary without a deal. The government should respect that decision.

In response to "Hype about artificial intelligence brings policy benefits", obbby says:

People have such short memories …this is, what, the fourth or fifth AI hype wave in the past half a century? Despite all of the investments, we are not a single step closer to truly intelligent machines. The only thing that has changed is the tricks our "AI" can do have improved. 

There has to be a second referendum: letter from Richard Orders, The Peak, Hong Kong

Your editorial “Mrs May’s Brexit deal deserves conditional support” pulls no punches in pointing to the mendacity and deceit of the Leave campaign. But surely if you believe the British people were sold Brexit on a false prospectus, your conclusion should be there has to be a second referendum.

Today’s opinion

Lex: Market hours: illiquid lunch
Staring at a screen encourages excessive trading. Better to shut down completely

Lex: Ryanair: winging it
Irish airline’s vulnerabilities exposed by toughness towards staff and customers

Lex: Takeda/haemophilia: blood test
If gene therapy lives up to its promise, it will justify the song and dance

The attorney-general’s Brexit advice explains the Irish backstop
His ‘note’ shows the cabinet knows what they would be agreeing to

Tussle for tech supremacy powers US-China animosity
The fight over trade is but a skirmish in the struggle between a global hegemon and its challenger

Nord Stream 2 is a trap of Germany’s own making
Berlin continues to defend a gas pipeline that achieves Russia’s strategic ends

Extremism rises as experience of its consequences fades
Bush’s memorial also marks the passing of the war generation’s suspicion of populism

Free Lunch: From left behind to poles of attraction
How to bring capital — human as well as financial — to declining regions 

FT Alphaville: US stocks can't sidestep trade tensions 

Europe’s security community braces itself for Brexit wounds
The bloc’s hardline stance on the UK’s exit masks a sense of mourning over defence ties

Lex: Vegan food groups: lean, green, growth machines
US meatless burger maker Beyond Meat is cooking something appetising

Sustainable finance: Danske Bank ‘shows need for bigger accounting picture’
‘Integrated reporting allows companies to better detect emerging threats’

Sustainable finance: business can be part of ‘radical ecological’ change
French industrialist says it is in best interest of finance to back companies’ transition

Time to shame pot-heads — not just smokers like me
In the spirit of equality, create cannabis-smoking areas

Life insurance should not get too personal
As fitness monitoring and genetic testing expands, the unhealthy may be priced out

FT Alphaville: A “fintech sandbox” might sound like a harmless idea. It's not 

FTfm: Pendulum swings from central banks to politicians 

Everyone thinks they know Trump country
A visit to West Virginia is indeed ‘Almost Heaven’

Instant Insight: Theresa May is still in office but not clearly in power 
Commons has taken control of Brexit and prime minister can no longer ignore MPs

Markets Insight: Some hope at last for India’s homegrown tech sector
Foreign companies all too often thwart ambitions of younger domestic groups

Inside Business: Few options left for spluttering Renault-Nissan alliance
Finding a way forward without Ghosn’s steering hand will be a big test for the partnership

Lombard: Sorrell’s $150m merger shows why he prefers peanuts to WPP
S4 Capital’s deal for MightyHive part of attempt to build media group for a new era

FT View

The FT View: Whatever his motives, Nigel Farage is right on Ukip
The former leader declares his old political party beyond the pale

The FT View: Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Mexico are at a crossroads
The new president is torn between populist and pragmatic instincts

The Big Read

The Big Read: Does cloud computing mean game over for Xbox and PlayStation?
Hardware makers must adapt to a world where superfast broadband can stream blockbuster games without the need for a box

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