July 29th, 2011

Week’s Top Stories: July 23 - 29, 2011

Posted at 10:00 AM ET

Guy Carpenter Introduces MetaRisk® 6.0 For Enhanced Risk and Capital Management Decision Making: Guy Carpenter & Company announced the release of MetaRisk 6.0, the latest version of the firm’s risk and capital decision tool. MetaRisk gives users the ability to interact with the drivers of risk in order to understand systemic and unique risk sources, reflect correlations among assets and liabilities, allocate capital and the cost of reinsurance, monitor earnings volatility and quantify overall capital adequacy.

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Chart: U.S. Property Catastrophe Rate on Line Index Update: Chart presents historical pricing activity through July 1, 2011.

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Bombing and Shooting Attacks, Oslo, Norway: Twin bombing and shooting attacks in Norway’s capital of Oslo killed at least 93 people and injured around 100 more on July 22, in western Europe’s deadliest attack since the 2004 Madrid bombings. According to reports, a Norwegian national with rightwing views detonated a car bomb in the government district of Oslo before traveling to an island outside of the city and gunning down youths at a summer camp. The bomb in Oslo targeted buildings connected to Norway’s governing Labor Party, and the youth camp on Utoya Island was also run by the party. According to the police, seven people were killed and 30 wounded in the initial bombing of government buildings in central Oslo, while 86 were killed and 66 wounded during the shooting at Utoya Island, some 20 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of the capital.

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Chart: Significant Catastrophic Losses - 2010 to Q2 2011: This chart shows the accumulation of significant losses over the last 18 months. The losses sustained so far in 2011 have already surpassed those recorded in 2010 and 2009 combined.

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Risk Profile, Appetite, and Tolerance: Fundamental Concepts in Risk Management and Reinsurance Effectiveness: Prior to the recent turbulence in the financial markets, insurers and reinsurers were increasing their use of enterprise risk management to make risk and capital management decisions. While this was driven in part by rating agencies and regulators, many carriers began to recognize the value of metric-based frameworks and capital models in evaluating their portfolios.

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TRIA, U.S. Terrorism and International Terrorism: Effect on the Insurance and Reinsurance Markets: Commercial insurers are strongly supportive of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA), as it provides them an ultimate safety net for their terrorism exposures. However, the residual risk for terror events retained by insurers below the triggers and retention levels set by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (TRIPRA), coupled with the relatively high cost of reinsurance in key exposure zones, means that insurers remain cautious about terrorism exposure. As a result, they continue to avoid accumulating high-profile urban exposures.

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