Unfortunately for reinsurers, the catastrophe losses of 2017 are coinciding at a time when profitability in non-catastrophe lines is constrained and prior-year reserve releases are slowing, according to the report. However, pricing corrections have not seen a significant spike due to the combination of strong reinsurance market capitalization, losses being split over a number of different events and the fact that a large tranche of the losses were retained in the primary market.
For buyers, the shape of the global reinsurance industry in 2017 was significantly different to those previous years impacted by large catastrophe events. The current market has witnessed traditional reinsurers remaining strongly regulated and capitalized supplemented by ILS capacity, which has grown to
According to the report, the ILS market showed resilience during the catastrophe losses in the second half of the year, comfortably weathering the first major test for a number of funds with investors prepared to recapitalize funds and provide liquidity for trapped capital. Similarly, traditional reinsurers’ Q3 2017 results showed that while the losses are clearly an earnings event, the impact on capital has been relatively muted with average capital impairments in the range of 5% to 7.5%.
Key findings from the report:
- Catastrophe losses have stopped a further downward movement in risk adjusted rates in most markets and classes.
- The continued supply of capital has helped curtail widespread increases in risk adjusted rates on loss free portfolios.
- Pricing across global property catastrophe and risk programs is seeing average adjusted increases of 0% to 7.5% with a few outliers either side of this range.
- Evolving cyber threats are a major concern for the industry in 2018. Recognition of silent cyber risk1 continues to grow in the market with reinsurers trying to assess potential aggregation levels.
- Merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction volume in the global insurance sector finished 2017 on a par with 2016’s
- ILS investors have replenished their capital and continue to trade forward with modest spread increases for loss affected perils.
He added: “As society as a whole is starting to look more closely at the role the global reinsurance market can play in helping to close the economic loss gap, the stability of the market bodes well for its future development.”
Download the full report: The Willis Re 1st View report is a thrice yearly publication including specific commentary on key trends throughout the world's major reinsurance classes and regions.
1 Potential cyber-related losses due to silent coverage from insurance policies not specifically designed to cover cyber risk
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