June 4th, 2010

Week’s Top Stories: May 29 - June 4, 2010

Posted at 11:00 AM ET

June 1 Reinsurance Rate Decreases are One Positive Development for Florida Companies:   At each Florida renewal season there are many challenges companies face in designing and placing their reinsurance programs. This year was no exception. While companies deal with navigating the challenges of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund integration each year, 2010 also included heightened commentary by rating agencies regarding acceptable risk transfer approaches, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s own views on risk transfer and an environment of continuing economic turmoil specific to the Florida insurance environment.

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Update: Floods in Central and Eastern Europe:   Heavy rain has triggered severe floods in parts of central and Eastern Europe since mid-May, killing at least 18 people, inundating homes and businesses and causing widespread damage and disruption. Parts of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic have been flooded after days of heavy rain burst river defenses and inundated low-lying areas. The heavy rain was accompanied by strong winds, causing power outages and transportation disruption. Reports said southern Poland was the worst-affected area after the Vistula River burst its banks. Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the damage caused by the flooding could cost around EUR2.6 billion (USD3.2 billion).

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Demand for Insurance Solutions Grows as Volcanic Ash Disrupts Supply Chains…Again: Traditionally, insurance coverage for supply chain disruption has required physical damage to the insured’s assets to trigger a claim. However, following ongoing air traffic disruption caused by the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, as well as industrial action in key transport sectors and civil unrest overseas, Guy Carpenter sister company Marsh has seen increased interest from organizations wanting supply chain insurance that includes coverage for losses from non-physical damage.

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Solvency II - Non-Life Underwriting Risk in Light of QIS 5:  On April 15th, 2010, the European Commission published its draft technical specifications for the next Quantitative Impact Study (QIS) 5, which will be implemented from August to November of 2010. Based on empirical evidence, the general calibration of the standard formula solvency capital requirement (SCR) may fall between the calibration of QIS 4 and the calibration seen in the rigid proposals of the various consultation papers submitted during 2009. This article takes a deeper look at the calibration of non-life underwriting risk as part of the overall SCR calculation.

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GC Videocast - Risk Tolerance Influences Economic Capital:   Guy Carpenter’s Global Chief Economist Joan Lamm-Tennant describes how economic capital is a function of the risk profile that comes from simulation based models, but it also requires knowing the company’s risk tolerance. She reviews how hedging frees up the need for economic capital and reduces volatility.

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And, you may have missed…

Casualty Clash and Casualty Catastrophe Risks:   Remoteness has been used to downplay the threat, causing carriers to overlook a more immediate, though less menacing, concern. A substantial loss may not imperil company operations, but it could lead to an unexpected earnings hit, the effects of which would be magnified for shareholders. Unanticipated large losses typically result in a disproportionate impact on market capitalization. Casualty clash and catastrophe protection, consequently, can be a vital tool in managing overall financial performance.

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