COMMENTPrevailing conventional wisdom dictates that insurers do not pose systemic risk. This is argued both on the basis of their business model and on the emphatic cry that “insurers are not like banks”. In this article* Christos Ellinas, Neil Allan and Neil Cantle challenge this convention. Analysing data on 90 UK life-insurers they show the inherent systemic risk in the structure of the insurance industry and call into question our existing risk management practices — Traditional analysis of the systemic importance of insurance firms has focused on firm-based information that relies on the financial condition of individual firms. By looking at factors such as admissible assets and excess capital the strength of each individual firm is determined. This is then aggregated across firms to draw assumptions and conclusions about the systemic resilience of the industry and the level of systemic risk it poses. However, we argue that such a methodology can be misleading and does not accurately capture the probability of default once a number of firms fail, because of a failure to understand the interconnectedness of insurance firms.