April 24th, 2014

Capital Stewardship Options

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Here we bring together recent GC Capital Ideas stories that have presented options that good capital stewards in the reinsurance industry are currently considering for deployment of excess capital. 

Maintaining the Status Quo: One of the biggest challenges facing reinsurers is deciding how to deploy excess capital to generate a return that meets or exceeds the expectation of investors or shareholders.

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Return to Shareholders:  As a principle, excess capital should be returned to shareholders in periods of low return opportunity (particularly below cost of capital) while more capital should be retained/deployed during periods that offer higher returns. The chart here on the Global Reinsurance Composite Return of capital shows that reinsurers have been relatively disciplined over the last eight years, with carriers returning more capital when the pricing environment has softened.

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Organic Growth: With an abundance of excess capital, negligible growth in global reinsurance spend and the pricing outlook continuing to soften, one of the biggest challenges facing reinsurers is deciding how to deploy this excess capital to generate a return that meets or exceeds the expectation of investors or shareholders. Here we consider the option of organic growth.

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M&A - Grow/Diversify by Product Line: As carriers explore M&A opportunities to grow in the current environment, there is strong interest from potential buyers looking for bolt-on opportunities rather than transformational transactions. Although this demand has not to-date triggered a significant increase in M&A transactions, the ingredients for more activity are now in place.

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M&A - Grow/Diversify by Territory: With growth opportunities limited in mature markets, many insurers are looking to emerging markets for future expansion, in particular China, Southeast Asia and Central and Latin America. The chart here highlights gross written premium growth in emerging markets compared to developed markets from a 2003 base.

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M&A: Achieve Meaningful Scale in Reinsurance: In a reinsurance market with abundant excess capital and where most reinsurance programs are oversubscribed, the need for a meaningful line size or differentiated underwriting contribution has never been more relevant.

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M&A: The Evolving Legacy (Run-Off) Market: The recent completion by legacy solution specialists of a number of acquisitions in the live insurance space could be a watershed moment for the standalone run-off market. The original business concept of a run-off manager was a pure focus on legacy business - to achieve finality in legacy claims and manage the outstanding book of legacy business in the same cost efficient way that an insurer would manage a renewal book of business.

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Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the United States through GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp., a US registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/NFA/SIPC. Main Office: 1166 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone: (212) 345-5000. Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the European Union by GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. (MMCSEL), which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, main office 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS. Reinsurance products are placed through qualified affiliates of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC. MMC Securities Corp., MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. and Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC are affiliates owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies. This communication is not intended as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any security, financial instrument, reinsurance or insurance product. **GC Analytics is a registered mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

April 23rd, 2014

Periodic Payment Orders

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Here we bring together the GC Capital Ideas two part series on periodic payment orders authored by Victoria Jenkins: 

Time Off for Certain Behavior, Part I: Behavioral economics is a fascinating field and one which actuaries should be aware of in their everyday work. It is the study of inherent biases in human decision-making. Many examples of these biases have been cited in connection with the financial crisis, and increasingly the implications for insurance are being examined.

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Time Off for Certain Behavior, Part II: Our experience in doing this has led to an “actuarial hunch” that PPO claims converted to their Ogden equivalents are not from the same underlying statistical distribution as traditional lump sum values. Fitting severity distributions to these claims in among the traditional lump sums can feel a bit like fitting to “apples and oranges.”

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April 22nd, 2014

GC Capital Ideas Review of Terrorism’s Impact on Insurance and Technology

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Here we review some recent GC Capital Ideas stories related to the issue of terrorism, addressing the impact on both the insurance industry and technology:

Chart: Countries Operating Compulsory or Optional Terrorism Pools:  A summary of the compulsory and optional terrorism pools that operate around the globe. 

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Guy Carpenter Insights on A.M. Best’s 2013 Updates: A.M. Best has recently issued several insurance ratings updates. Among them, insurers that are overly dependent on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Authorization Act (TRIPRA) may face negative rating pressure when the act expires at the end of 2014. A.M. Best continues to assess the impact of terrorism risk exposure relative to BCAR levels in its discussions with carriers.

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Range of Cyber Risks: Cyber risks range from legal liability and computer security breaches to privacy breaches of confidential information. Data breaches typically involve the intent to either copy, extract or destroy data. However, the risks that companies face transcend simple data incidents and often include the broader range of perils associated with the structural vulnerability of our economy to failures of technology generally. Further risks include cyber extortion, cyber terrorism, loss of revenue due to a computer attack, recovery costs, reputational damage and supply chain disruption.

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April 21st, 2014

GC Capital Tip: Tagging

Posted at 1:30 AM ET

Every article on GC Capital Ideas is “tagged.” Tags are nothing more than keywords used to label a particular article. Since few stories deal with only one topic, tags give you several ways to find the information you need. To see an article on a specific subject, just click a tag at the end of an article. Examples include reinsurance rates, casualty, and catastrophe. Within each article, key terms are set up as links to tags, as well. Clicking one of these links (see the examples in the previous sentence) is the same as clicking a tag. It shows you all stories related to that keyword.

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April 21st, 2014

GC Capital Tip: Talk to the Author

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Do you have a question about one of our articles? If so, contact us. Longer articles on GC Capital Ideas have a “contact” link right at the top. Clicking it will open your e-mail program and provide the appropriate address and subject line, so we can route your inquiry to the best source. If the e-mail software you use is not configured for this, e-mail us at: guy_carpenter@guycarp.com.

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April 18th, 2014

Week’s Top Stories: April 12 – 18, 2014

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman Publish Third Annual Insurance Risk Benchmarks Report: Guy Carpenter and its sister company, Oliver Wyman, the international management consulting firm, published the third annual Insurance Risk Benchmarks in September of 2013. We highlight the report here again.

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Reinsurance Renewals in 2014: As we complete the April 1, 2014 reinsurance renewal, we review the GC Capital Ideas renewal stories of 2014.

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10 Most Popular Chart Room Entries: Here we review one of GC Capital Ideas more viewed categories, the Chart Room, with the top 10 most popular stories viewed since March 1st.

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ERM Benchmark Review Update 2013: Here we bring together the GC Capital Ideas four part Enterprise Risk Management Update story for 2013.

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Catastrophe Bond Outlook for 2014: The growing influence of alternative markets capacity is pressuring traditional reinsurers’ business model and challenging them to compete against a model with lower-cost of capital that continues to enter the reinsurance market. Most reinsurance companies have responded to the challenge by leveraging their incumbent status on reinsurance programs, offering similar or better terms and similar or reduced pricing. Particularly, traditional players are emphasizing their ability to efficiently provide reinstatements, which are seen by many as a critical part of core reinsurance programs, particularly for working reinsurance layers.

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And, You May Have Missed…

Americas Catastrophe Review, 2013: As with Europe, 2013 was a year of flood in the Americas, with notable events in Alberta, Toronto and Colorado. The flood event in the Calgary, Alberta area of Canada resulted in estimated insured losses of around USD2 billion, with economic losses of USD4.8 billion.  This event, combined with flash-flooding in Toronto, Ontario in July, meant Canada experienced its most expensive insured catastrophe loss year on record.

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Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the United States through GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp., a US registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/NFA/SIPC. Main Office:  1166 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone: (212) 345-5000. Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the European Union by GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. (MMCSEL), which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, main office 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS.  Reinsurance products are placed through qualified affiliates of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC.  MMC Securities Corp., MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. and Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC are affiliates owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies.  This communication is not intended as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any security, financial instrument, reinsurance or insurance product.

April 17th, 2014

ERM Benchmark Review Update 2013

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Here we bring together the GC Capital Ideas four part Enterprise Risk Management Update story for 2013:

ERM Benchmark Review, 2013 Update: Part I: In April and October 2009, Guy Carpenter published two briefings titled “Risk Profile, Appetite and Tolerance: Fundamental Concepts in Risk Management and Reinsurance Effectiveness.” This briefing is an update of those studies that summarizes the information publicly disclosed on enterprise risk management (ERM) measures.

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ERM Benchmark Review, 2013 Update: Part II: Before focusing on the results of the latest study, we would like to reaffirm the definition of risk profile, risk appetite and risk tolerance found in our previous publications.

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ERM Benchmark Review, 2013 Update: Part III: The table quantifies the proportion of companies in the sample that disclose the method as well as the specific level of various risk quantifications. Compared to our previous ERM benchmark study, a new metric referring to catastrophe risk has been added. Taking advantage of the increased level of disclosure and transparency on catastrophe risk exposure, we have extended our reports to include this in view of its importance in the economic capital approach of (re)insurers.

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ERM Benchmark Review, 2013 Update: Part IV: Capital management using risk-based capital models and capital allocation is a central component of risk management practices. We have investigated this topic as a new chapter for our 2013 ERM Benchmark update. In this context, the table shows the portion of companies that publish concrete data on their excess capital - the amount of capital retained in excess of a certain target amount. The table also shows both the portion of companies using risk-based capital models in the risk management process and the portion giving some indication of the methodology of the capital allocation process.

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April 16th, 2014

Reinsurance Renewals in 2014

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

As we complete the April 1, 2014 reinsurance renewal, we review the GC Capital Ideas renewal stories of 2014. 

January 1, 2014 Renewals Bring Downward Pressure on Pricing: Guy Carpenter reports that reinsurance rates-on-line fell at the January 1, 2014 renewal in nearly all classes and regions. According to Guy Carpenter’s 2014 global renewal report, strong balance sheets, relatively low loss experiences and an unprecedented influx of convergence capital spurred competition and innovation at renewal. These factors led in turn to surplus capacity across most business segments as competition spilled beyond property catastrophe lines.

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April Renewals Bring Price Reductions & Focus on Tailored Coverage: Guy Carpenter reports that the April 1, 2014 renewal was marked by price reductions and more tailored reinsurance coverage. Strong balance sheets, an abundance of capacity and a consolidation of buying led to lower reinsurance pricing across most territories and business segments at the renewal.

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April 15th, 2014

Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman Publish Third Annual Insurance Risk Benchmarks Report

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Guy Carpenter and its sister company, Oliver Wyman, the international management consulting firm, published the third annual Insurance Risk Benchmarks in September of 2013. We highlight the report here again. 

Continue reading…

April 14th, 2014

10 Most Popular Chart Room Entries

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Here we review one of GC Capital Ideas more viewed categories, the Chart Room, with the top 10 most popular stories viewed since March 1st:

 

1. Chart: 2013 Catastrophe Bond Transactions: This table lists the 144A property/casualty catastrophe bond transactions that were completed in 2013.

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2. Chart: Global Property Catastrophe ROL Index: The Guy Carpenter Global Property Catastrophe Rate on Line index is presented for 1990 through 2014.  The index fell by 11 percent at January 1, 2014.

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3. Chart: Risk Capital Outstanding: Risk capital outstanding for property/casualty catastrophe bonds for the period 1997 to 2013.

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4. Chart: Risk Capital Issued by Quarter: Property/casualty catastrophe bonds issuance in the period 1997 to 2013.

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5. Chart: Rate Movements by Business Segment: Reports rate movements at January 1, 2014.

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6. Chart: Regional Property Catastrophe ROL Index: The chart shows the indexes for United States, United Kingdom, Asia Pacific and Europe.

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7. Chart: Chile Holds Spot on Most Expensive Earthquakes for Insurers: In light of the April 1 magnitude 8.2 earthquake in Chile, we highlight a spring 2013 GC Capital Ideas table ranking the most expensive earthquakes for insurers. A seismic event in 2010 put the South American nation on that list.

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8. Chart: Significant Insured Losses: Reports insured losses from natural disasters and man-made disasters, 2011 to 2013.

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9. Chart: Global Catastrophe Insured Losses: Chart presents individual measures for natural catastrophes versus man-made catastrophes, 1970 to 2013.

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10. Chart: Top Ten Catastrophe Bond Transactions: The chart ranks deals in 2013, as compiled by GC Securities*, a division of MMC Securities Corporation.

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*Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the United States through GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp., a US registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/NFA/SIPC. Main Office: 1166 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone: (212) 345-5000. Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the European Union by GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. (MMCSEL), which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, main office 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS. Reinsurance products are placed through qualified affiliates of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC. MMC Securities Corp., MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. and Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC are affiliates owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies. This communication is not intended as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any security, financial instrument, reinsurance or insurance product. **GC Analytics is a registered mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.