January 23rd, 2009

Week’s Top Stories: Jan 17, 2008 - Jan 23, 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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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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Lloyd’s - Relative Strength: Lloyd’s was tested in 2008, like the rest of the (re)insurance industry. Underwriting discipline instilled by the Franchise Board, coupled with a relatively conservative investment strategy, has left the market well-positioned to capitalize on opportunities that may arise in 2009.

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Ike Update: Revised Shareholders’ Funds Impact: Ahead of the fourth quarter and full-year financial reporting season, a handful of companies have announced substantial upward loss estimate revisions related to Hurricane Ike.

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2008 North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Review: Sixteen tropical storms formed during the 2008 season, compared to the 1950 to 2007 average of 9.7, an increase of 65 percent. The season also witnessed the first tropical cyclone ever to make four landfalls in one state (i.e., Hurricane Fay, impacting Florida).

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Most Popular Keyword: World ROL Index

And, you may have missed …

Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclone Forecasts for 2009: On December 10, 2008, Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray at Colorado State University released their forecast for the 2009 season, making predictions for somewhat above-average activity in the North Atlantic basin (based on the average 1950 to 2000 season).

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