January 16th, 2009

Week’s Top Stories: Jan 10, 2008 - Jan 16, 2009

Posted at 4:00 PM ET

Cats and Credit Push Prices Up: Reinsurance rate increases were moderate on average at the January 1, 2009 renewal. The Guy Carpenter World Rate on Line (ROL) Index rose 8 percent, in response to the dual pressures of a financial catastrophe and the second most expensive property catastrophe year on record.

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Ratings Outlook Stable for 2009: Rating activity was remarkably low in 2008, despite the forcible removal of several billion dollars of capital from the global reinsurance industry. The confluence of one of the costliest insured catastrophe loss years to date and the ongoing financial catastrophe have had a material impact on the earnings and capital position of nearly every major player.

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MMC Publishes Viewpoint: The Continuing Evolution of Risk Modeling - Ryan Ogaard, Global Head of Guy Carpenter’s Instrat® Unit, discusses the expertise, technology, and best practices that have evolved to help firms overcome the inertia that has kept them from implementing a holistic risk management framework.

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2008 Catastrophe Update: A record-setting Atlantic hurricane season and above-average manmade catastrophe losses put 2008 among the costliest years on record. While the economic downturn dominated the headlines throughout the year, lurking in the shadows was one of the most active hurricane seasons on record.

 

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Reinsurer Financial and Cat Losses High, Bermuda Hit Most: A tough year for reinsurers is coming to a close. The worldwide financial catastrophe has impaired investment assets and put downward pressure on profits. At the same time, combined ratios were sent higher by an above-average year for catastrophe losses, especially as a result of Hurricane Ike.

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Credit, Bond, Political Up at 1/1 Renewal: Buyers’ market conditions and a very late renewal characterized the January 1, 2009 renewal for Credit and Bond (surety) reinsurance, which is dominated by proportional placements. Buyers gained no advantage from submitting cases early for quoting, as reinsurers waited for a bigger suite of submissions before offering terms.

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