April 22nd, 2011

Week’s Top Stories: Apr 16 - 22, 2011

Posted at 10:00 AM ET

Chart: Guy Carpenter Global Reinsurance Composite, Source of Earnings, Year-End 2010

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Severe Weather in United States: Severe weather in southern and southeastern regions of the United States spawned dozens of tornadoes between April 14 and 16, causing widespread property damage and killing at least 45 people. The storms affected the 14 states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. The violent weather began in Oklahoma on April 14 before cutting across the southern states the following day and hitting North Carolina and Virginia on April 16. According to the National Weather Service, the storms spawned more than 240 tornadoes across the region and brought strong winds, heavy rain and grapefruit-sized hail to several areas. Reports said the tornado tally over the three-day period is likely to rank among the highest in United States history. Meteorologists said there had been three main contributory factors that combined to cause the severe weather: a powerful jet stream, abundant moisture and a strong cold front moving across southern regions.

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Chart: Guy Carpenter Global Reinsurance Composite, Combined Ratio, Year-End 2010

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Guy Carpenter Publishes Second Part of Re/Insurance Industry’s Guide to Succeeding Under Solvency II: Guy Carpenter & Company released a new briefing, Succeeding Under Solvency II - Corporate Governance (Pillar II) and Disclosure (Pillar III), the second report in a special series for re/insurers operating in or covering risks in Europe. The new report examines: the rigorous corporate governance programs that (re)insurers will need to implement under Solvency II, covering the core functions of risk management, actuarial, internal audit and internal controls; Expectations under the Pillar II requirement of every company conducting its “own risk and solvency assessment;” the internal model approval process as an alternative to using the standard formula to determine a company’s solvency capital requirement; the two levels of disclosure - regulator and public - required under Pillar III; Catastrophe modeling documentation requirements for Solvency II compliance.

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Reinsurance Market and Rate Direction Still in Transition at April 1, 2011 Renewals: With substantial first quarter insured losses from catastrophes in Australia, Japan and New Zealand and the political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, the direction of global reinsurance rates at April 1, 2011 renewals varies by region and line of business. Guy Carpenter & Company released its annual report on the state of the reinsurance market at the April 1 renewals period. As the quarter comes to a close, it is the most costly first quarter on record for the industry.

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And, you may have missed…

GC Videocast - Risk Tolerance Influences Economic Capital (Joan Lamm-Tennant) 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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