September 1st, 2009

2009 YTD: Top Reinsurance Renewal Stories

Posted at 1:00 PM ET

With Rendez-Vous 2009 coming to Monte Carlo next week, review the top stories of the year on reinsurance renewals below.

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. The degree to which prices increased was tempered by large capital positions at the beginning of 2008, enabling carriers to absorb the year’s losses, but this is where the generalizations end. Loss history, geography, and line of business led to wide differences in pricing. Expectations of another above-average storm year and the uncertainty surrounding the credit crisis underscore the need for continued capital management discipline in the coming year.

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(January 5, 2009)

Rates Up on Tightening Capacity at U.S. 4/1 Prop-Cat Renewal: Reinsurance rates continued to increase for the U.S. property-catastrophe reinsurance market at the April 1, 2009 renewal, extending the trend that began at the beginning of the year. National programs were up 10 percent to 14 percent on a risk-adjusted basis, with those in the Northeast seeing 6 percent to 8 percent increases. This compares to a reinsurance rate increase of 11 percent on average at the January 1, 2009 renewal.

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(April 7, 2009)

Florida Renewal Up 15%, Follows the Global Trend: Property-catastrophe reinsurance rates increased by 15 percent at the Florida-centric June 1, 2009 renewal — compared to a 15 percent decline a year ago. Capacity was more limited than in recent years — however, still adequate to complete renewals. Though the ultimate result was higher than the 10 percent to 14 percent change for U.S. national reinsurers at April 1, 2009, the intricacies of the Florida market render it directionally consistent with the overall rate trend for this year. Constraints on capital have pushed risk-transfer pricing higher, but shortages were not so severe that rates spiked as they did in 2006.

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(June 1, 2009)

Prop-Cat Reinsurance Rate Increases Steady at July 1 Renewal: Property-catastrophe reinsurance rate increases were steady at the July 1, 2009 renewal. In the United States and Latin America, capacity was sufficient to meet demand. U.S. property-catastrophe reinsurance rates increased 15 percent year-over-year, in line with the trend from January to June. In Latin America, preliminary data varied by country, but upward pressure on pricing was offset by supply and local market competition to keep reinsurance rate increases contained. For the marine sector, rates were up 5 percent to 10 percent, based mostly on loss history and catastrophe exposure. With four major renewal periods covered this year, a sense of calm has emerged. The general reinsurance market is tepid, with a few hotspots based on region- or program-specific factors.

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(July 1, 2009)

7/1 European Casualty Renewals: The July renewal does not affect a large number of cedents in Europe, but the programs that did renew suggest a continuation of the year’s broader themes. Hotspots across the market at the January renewal have persisted as expected, though the recent renewal was not robust enough to support forecasts for January 1, 2010.

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(July 6, 2009)

And, listen to our 7/1 reinsurance renewal podcasts:

GC Podcast 01 — July 1 Renewals (Chris Klein) >>

GC Podcast 02 — July 1 LAH Renewals (David Rains) >>

Click here to register for e-mail updates from GC Capital Ideas >>

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