June 19th, 2009

Week’s Top Stories: June 13 - 19, 2009

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Global Reinsurance Composite Net Income, Combined Ratio Improve: The Guy Carpenter Global Reinsurance Composite’s net loss narrowed from the first quarter of 2008 to that of 2009. This year, the group showed an aggregate net loss of USD127 million — an improvement of 86 percent. Declines in unrealized losses and better non-life underwriting results are the primary drivers.

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U.S. Perseveres through Renewals Gauntlet: From the end of April to July, the (re)insurance industry steps through a rapid succession of renewals, leaving little time to turn lessons from one into an action plan for the next. April 1, 2009 is behind us, and the Florida renewal has nearly arrived — and it will shape worldwide market conditions for July 1, 2009. We’re halfway through this annual renewals gauntlet, but the continued push forward can obscure the considerable body of knowledge our industry has accumulated.

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Net Income Slips for European Reinsurance Composite: Declines among a few large players resulted in a USD2.1 billion aggregate net loss for the Guy Carpenter European Reinsurance Composite for the first quarter of 2009. This represents a substantial shift from net income of USD709 million for the first quarter of 2008. Realized losses were primarily responsible for the year-over-year change.

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TWIA Update: Texas legislation HB4409 has been passed and awaits signature by the governor. The 2009 Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) risk financing structure approved by HB4409 includes as much as USD2.5 billion of debt, and although it allows the purchase of reinsurance, TWIA’s board members decided to non-renew its catastrophe reinsurance program of USD1.5 billion excess USD600 million that expired on June 1, 2009.

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Continental European Legislative and Judicial Trends: Germany: The premiums of Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance policies in Germany have nearly doubled in recent months because of fallout from the global financial crisis — after several years of declines. The market has tightened especially for financial institutions risks on account of the steadily rising number of financial services industry D&O claims.

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Net Income Drops for Bermuda Reinsurance Composite: The Guy Carpenter Bermuda Reinsurance Composite posted an aggregate net loss of USD325 million for the first quarter of 2009. This is down from a net gain of USD558 million (after unrealized gains and losses) for the first quarter of 2008. As with the global and European trends, realized investment losses were the primary reason.

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