Archive for April, 2010



April 30th, 2010

Week’s Top Stories: Apr 24 - 30, 2010

Posted at 9:00 AM ET

Explosion and Fire at Offshore Oil Rig, Gulf of Mexico:    An explosion and large fire on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico left 11 workers missing and 17 others injured on April 20. The blaze on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which broke out around 22:00, sent flames and smoke high into the sky about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Seventeen workers were injured, three critically, and rescuers are still searching for 11 missing people. It was not known whether the missing workers were able to make it to one of the rig’s lifeboats. Reports said the rig, which is owned by Transocean Ltd, was under contract to the oil giant BP at a cost of USD533,000 (EUR 395,000) a day and doing exploratory drilling. The rig is listing badly and threatening to topple over, the US Coast Guard said. Reports said the rig, which was built in 2001 in South Korea at a cost of about USD350 million, has a replacement value of up to USD700 million today.

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Chart: Update on April 1 Reinsurance Renewals, US Property Catastrophe: Market Quoting Behavior, Quotes by Market Segment:    Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC has performed further analyses based on the availability of more quoting detail. Against a smaller number of renewal transactions at April 1 we observed the UK becoming more aggressive and the Bermuda market less aggressive in the Gulf region relative to their respective positions at January 1.

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Chart: Guy Carpenter Bermuda Reinsurance Composite:   Sources of Earnings, 2008 - 2009:   Fortunes for this cohort of companies improved dramatically and unexpectedly in 2009 following the poor performance during 2008’s global financial crisis. Aggregate net income stood at USD9.5 billion in 2009 versus a loss of USD1.9 billion in 2008. One principle driver in 2009 was a 71 percent increase in underwriting earnings.

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Chart: United States National Per Risk Reinsurance Peer Company Review:   The property per risk reinsurance market experienced relatively loss free years from 2002-2007 along with high premiums.

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Catastrophe Bond Update: First Quarter 2010: Heavy Smoke, Some Fire: Encouraging Conditions Persist: *  In the first quarter of 2010, two catastrophe bond transactions were completed, and USD300 million of risk capital was issued. In response to strong investor demand, both transactions closed within initial price guidance and were upsized relative to announced placement targets. While this activity furthers the integration of the capital markets into the risk management processes of protection buyers, on balance, issuance volumes for the quarter were perhaps a bit lighter than expected at the close of 2009.

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Multi-Year Cover Gaining Steam in LA&H:   Carriers thrive on predictability. Risk management techniques, models, and sometimes intricate programs are devised to anticipate insured losses and take the appropriate risk transfer measures. The use of multi-year cover for accident and health lines of business, though in its infancy, could be the next step in mitigating risk and reducing ambiguity. With a longer-term commitment, (re)insurers trade price advantages that come from sharp turns in the market for the predictability that both crave, particularly when the market becomes volatile.

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*Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the United States through GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp., a US registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC. Main Office: 1166 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone: (212) 345-5000. Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the European Union by GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd., which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Reinsurance products are placed through qualified affiliates of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC. MMC Securities Corp., MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. and Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC are affiliates owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. This communication is not intended as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any security, financial instrument, reinsurance or insurance product.

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April 29th, 2010

Chart: United States Property Casualty Initial Accident Year Loss Ratios & Subsequent Development

Posted at 9:00 AM ET

ibnr

Source: Guy Carpenter; Highline Data

Data presenting the ratio of IBNR Reserves to Initial Accident Year Reserves. The trend follows the underwriting cycle. In a soft market, IBNR is not as generous. In a harder market, where premiums are higher and more dollar per unit of risk is being earned, IBNR is more generous.

April 28th, 2010

Top Stories on Solvency II: 2010 Year to Date

Posted at 9:00 AM ET

We bring together here links to all of GC Capital Ideas’ top stories covering Solvency II published in 2010.

Solvency II - Approval of Internal Models:   The Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) published many consultation papers in 2009 focusing on Level 2 implementation measures for Solvency II. Consultation Paper (CP) 37 addressed the procedures for approval of internal models. It was followed by a final paper entitled “CEIOPS Advice for Level 2 Implementing Measures on Solvency II ‘The procedure to be followed for the approval of an internal model’”, published in October, 2009. This series reviews the implementation measures described in the final papers. Implementation measures for the use of partial internal models are briefly described in these two CEIOPS papers. 

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Solvency II In-Depth:   Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC sponsored this extended roundtable discussion that considered the progress made by (re)insurance as the Solvency II regime approaches. Held in London, it was attended by a number of UK and continental Europe industry leaders, including Guy Carpenter Managing Director and European Solutions Group Leader Eric Paire. We present the text of the roundtable discussion here as it appeared in Reinsurance Magazine.

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Corporate Decision Making Using Economic Capital Models:   In the 1980s many large general insurance companies investigated the use of dynamic financial analysis for corporate decision making. Only a small number of insurers and reinsurers, many of which were European, were able to develop dynamic financial models that were adequate for use in decision making. The primary obstacles to implementation were actuarial knowledge and computer technology. By the early 2000s, technology had improved, actuaries had developed techniques that allowed better quantification of insurance risks and dynamic financial analysis had evolved into enterprise risk management (ERM) supported by economic capital models. With these improvements, regulators began to develop solvency rules that create incentives for insurers to implement economic capital models. Although the current impetus for economic capital models is regulatory, the original purpose of enhanced strategic decision making is still valid and companies that use their economic capital models for ERM will be industry leaders.

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Higher Pressure on Cat Risk Under Solvency II:   In 2009, the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) issued details of its Level 2 implementation measures for Solvency II in three waves of consultation papers. The capital charge for the catastrophe risk sub-module (NLCAT), a key driver of capital for non-life carriers and reinsurers, is covered in various publications, primarily in “CEIOPS’ advice for Level 2 Implementation Measures on Solvency II: SCR standard formula - Article 111 Non-Life Underwriting Risk (former CP 48)” and Consultation Paper (CP) 71 - “SCR Standard Formula - Calibration of non-life underwriting risk”.

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Solvency II - Rationale for the Capital Requirement Increase for Underwriting Risk:   In its series of Consultation Papers on Level 2 implementation Measures for Solvency II, the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) drafted, in Consultation Paper 71, a new proposal for the calibration of non-life underwriting risk. Additionally, CEIOPS published its final and third set of advice to the European Commission (EC) at the end of January 2010. The purpose of this briefing is to outline the rationale provided by CEIOPS behind the proposed increase in the SCR in respect of non-life underwriting risk.

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Solvency II: CEIOPS Third Set of Advice, An Overview:   The Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) published its final and third set of advice to the European Commission (EC) at the end of January.

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Solvency II - Gearing up for tougher Capital Requirements:   The development of Solvency II continues to be one of the most significant regulatory developments for the insurance industry applicable to both primary carriers and reinsurers. European insurers are starting to focus now on the risk-sensitive regime they will face in 2012, especially on the impact of the risk-based quantitative requirements for measuring financial positions and capital adequacy.

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April 27th, 2010

Update: Explosion and Fire at Offshore Oil Rig, Gulf of Mexico

Posted at 10:26 AM ET

severe-weather-in-us-small1An explosion and large fire on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico left 11 workers missing and 17 others injured on April 20. The blaze on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which broke out around 22:00 local time (03:00 UTC on April 21), sent flames and smoke high into the sky about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Seventeen workers were injured, three critically, and the 11 missing men are now feared dead. Reports said the rig, which is owned by Transocean Ltd, was under contract to the oil giant BP at a cost of USD533,000 (EUR395,000) a day and doing exploratory drilling. The rig was listing badly as it was consumed by flames and it eventually sunk on April 22, leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The well is currently leaking oil at a rate of about 1,000 barrels per day. Reports said the rig was built in 2001 in South Korea at a cost of about USD350 million. Transocean said the 400-by-250-foot (120-by-80 meter) rig was located around 42 miles offshore Venice, Louisiana, on Mississippi Canyon block 252.

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April 27th, 2010

Chart: Insurance Linked Securities Risk Capital Issued and Outstanding, 1997 – Apr 23, 2010*

Posted at 9:00 AM ET

This chart represents the 144A Catastrophe Bond market. Capital outstanding peaked at approximately USD14 billion in 2007 and has remained fairly stable at approximately USD12 billion. It should be noted that other formats exist for investors, in addition to the 144A realm, such as the industry loss warranty market and collateralized reinsurance.

issuance-chart-updated

Source: Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC

*Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the United States through GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp., a US registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC. Main Office: 1166 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone: (212) 345-5000. Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the European Union by GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd., which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Reinsurance products are placed through qualified affiliates of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC. MMC Securities Corp., MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. and Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC are affiliates owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. This communication is not intended as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any security, financial instrument, reinsurance or insurance product.

April 26th, 2010

Severe Weather in United States

Posted at 11:50 AM ET

severe-weather-in-us-smallSevere weather in southern regions of the United States spawned several tornadoes over the weekend, causing widespread property damage and killing at least 12 people. The storms affected the southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. The dead included 10 people in rural Mississippi and 2 others in Alabama while at least 70 people were injured. A state of emergency has been declared in 17 Mississippi counties and reports said hundreds of properties have been destroyed or damaged.

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April 26th, 2010

Chart: United States National Per Risk Reinsurance Peer Company Review

Posted at 9:00 AM ET

per-risk-company-review

Source: Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC

The property per risk reinsurance market experienced relatively loss free years from 2002-2007 along with high premiums.

April 23rd, 2010

Week’s Top Stories: Apr 17 - 23, 2010

Posted at 9:00 AM ET

Catastrophe Bond Update: First Quarter 2010: Heavy Smoke, Some Fire: Encouraging Conditions Persist:   In the first quarter of 2010, two catastrophe bond transactions were completed, and USD300 million of risk capital was issued. In response to strong investor demand, both transactions closed within initial price guidance and were upsized relative to announced placement targets. While this activity furthers the integration of the capital markets into the risk management processes of protection buyers, on balance, issuance volumes for the quarter were perhaps a bit lighter than expected at the close of 2009.

Read the article »

Chart: Update on April 1 Reinsurance Renewals, US Property Catastrophe: Market Quoting Behavior, Increased Variation in Quotes:    Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC has performed further analyses based on the availability of more quoting detail. We have found increased variation from the January 1 renewals in reinsurer quotations across all regions, but the range remained consistent at down by 11 percent to up by 11 percent. Broader quote variation is expected as reinsurers position their portfolios more actively in the wake of January 1 renewal results.

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April 1 Reinsurance Renewals: Rates Lower; Returns Under Pressure:   The April 1, 2010 reinsurance renewals are dominated by Asia, but were conducted with one eye on the catastrophes that occurred elsewhere in the world. Reinsurance rates in most cases continued the decline experienced at January 1, 2010 which occurred largely because of the effects of healthier (re)insurer balance sheets. The large earthquake in Chile, and, to a lesser extent, windstorm Xynthia in Europe, both striking in the first quarter of 2010, caused pause for thought. There are several significant renewals at April 1 in the US, which did not show signs of any impact from the recent global loss activity. There was some evidence of price tightening in parts of Latin America. The Chile situation remains uncertain and earthquake losses generally develop more slowly than wind events. Up to half of catastrophe loss ratio budgets were consumed, causing reduced headroom for a larger catastrophe later in the year. This scenario, along with buoyant balance sheets, lower investment yields and thinner reserve releases will put pressure on returns, sustaining active capital management and perhaps, in time, stabilizing the market.

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Chart: Update on April 1 Reinsurance Renewals, US Property Catastrophe: Market Quoting Behavior, Quotes by Market Segment:   Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC has performed further analyses based on the availability of more quoting detail. Against a smaller number of renewal transactions at April 1 we observed the UK becoming more aggressive and the Bermuda market less aggressive in the Gulf region relative to their respective positions at January 1.

Read the article »

Micro Risk Management:   Risk, if left unmanaged by people with low incomes, may render their attempts to exit poverty more difficult. It may also increase the likelihood of a return or new entrance to poverty for those who hover just above the poverty line, and may increase the chances of personal loan default for the minority of low-income individuals with current access to microcredit (small value loans usually provided to help the entrepreneurial poor to develop microenterprises).

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Impact of Earnings Volatility on Price/Book Ratios:   The link between a company’s earnings and its share price is intuitive and well documented. Equally logical, although far less studied, is the correlation between the volatility of earnings and share price. The favorable impact of stable earnings on market valuation is intuitive considering market capitalization represents a view of future discounted cash flows and unexpected earnings volatility reduces the predictability of those cash flows.

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April 22nd, 2010

Chart: Guy Carpenter Bermuda Reinsurance Composite: Sources of Earnings, 2008 – 2009

Posted at 9:00 AM ET

berm-comp-2010-full-year1

Source: Company Reports & Accounts, Guy Carpenter

Fortunes for this cohort of companies improved dramatically and unexpectedly in 2009 following the poor performance during 2008’s global financial crisis.   Aggregate net income stood at USD9.5 billion in 2009 versus a loss of USD1.9 billion in 2008.  One  principle driver in 2009 was a 71 percent increase in underwriting earnings.

April 22nd, 2010

Explosion and Fire at Offshore Oil Rig, Gulf of Mexico

Posted at 8:58 AM ET

oil-rig-gulf-of-mexico-smallAn explosion and large fire on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico left 11 workers missing and 17 others injured on April 20. The blaze on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which broke out around 22:00 local time (03:00 UTC on April 21), sent flames and smoke high into the sky about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Seventeen workers were injured, three critically, and rescuers are still searching for 11 missing people. It was not known whether the missing workers were able to make it to one of the rig’s lifeboats. Reports said the rig, which is owned by Transocean Ltd, was under contract to the oil giant BP at a cost of USD533,000 (EUR 395,000) a day and doing exploratory drilling. The rig is listing badly and threatening to topple over, the US Coast Guard said. Reports said the rig, which was built in 2001 in South Korea at a cost of about USD350 million, has a replacement value of up to USD700 million today. Transocean said the 400-by-250-foot (120-by-80 meter) rig is located approximately 42 miles offshore Venice, Louisiana, on Mississippi Canyon block 252.

Continue reading…