February 20th, 2009

Week’s Top Stories: Feb 14 - 20, 2009

Posted at 4:00 PM ET

A Short, Defining Year for Cat Bonds: The catastrophe bond year ended back in July, and two quarters of virtual silence have signaled an abrupt change in the market. After 2006 and 2007, we had become accustomed to record-setting issuance years.

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Man-Made Cats Hit USD7bn in 2008: Man-made and technological catastrophes caused around USD7 billion in insured losses last year. This put 2008 losses around 46 percent higher than the annual average of USD4.8 billion

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Ike Update: Revised Shareholders’ Funds Impact: Swiss Re Group and Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. are the latest carriers to increase their Hurricane Ike exposure estimates. Swiss Re has increased its estimates by a substantial 64 percent, with Aspen’s changes growing by 23 percent.

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Cat Bonds Persevere in Tumultuous Market: A slow issuance year in 2008 masks a story of resilience and risk management flexibility. After a record-setting year in 2007, catastrophe bond issuances fell 62 percent by issuance volume and 52 percent by transaction count last year.

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Modest ROL Increases at 1/1 for Europe: European rates rose on average from 0 percent to 10 percent on a risk-adjusted basis. Though it produced some headlines, Windstorm Emma did not yield substantial insured losses and had only a limited effect on pricing.

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Most Popular Keyword: catastrophe bonds

And, you may have missed …

Wide Quote Spreads at German Renewal: A second consecutive loss year, capacity concerns, and financial constraints led to average price increases of up of 10 percent. There was a wide range of quotes, with the spread between the cheapest and most expensive reaching 100 percent or more in some cases.

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