January 9th, 2012

2011 in Review: The Top GC Capital Ideas Stories

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Here we present the top GC Capital Ideas Stories of 2011.

1. 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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2. Global Reinsurance Outlook: Points of Inflection, Positioning for Change in a Challenging Market: Executive Summary: Early predictions that January 1, 2011 reinsurance renewal rates were likely to fall have been proven correct. The Guy Carpenter Global Property Catastrophe Rate on Line (ROL) Index lost 7.5 percent - the second consecutive annual decline. Contributing to this move has been a combination of factors, including moderate loss activity and abundant levels of industry surplus.

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3. 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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4. Chart: Guy Carpenter Global Property Catastrophe Rate on Line Index

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5. Wide Range of Outcomes Seen in June 1, 2011, Florida Reinsurance Renewals: The June 1, 2011, renewals took place against the backdrop of record first-half catastrophe losses and uncertainty surrounding the release of version 11 of Risk Management Solutions’ (RMS) U.S. hurricane model. The heavy international natural catastrophe-related losses that occurred during the first quarter of 2011 - combined with the multi-billion dollar losses from tornadoes in the United States in April and May - have added to significant loss activity over the past 16 months, culminating in insured losses of close to USD100 billion.

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6. RMS Hurricane Model Update: RMS issued a significant update to its U.S. hurricane model, RiskLink, bringing material increases in risk estimates to many insurers with exposure to hurricane states. Early indications are that the average hurricane probable maximum losses (PML) for the industry will increase dramatically - by 20 to 25 percent. Regionally, the increases could be significantly higher.

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7. Guy Carpenter Publishes New Insurers’ Guide to Succeeding Under Solvency II: Guy Carpenter & Company has released a special report, Succeeding under Solvency II - Pillar One: Capital Requirements. The paper is the first in a series of Guy Carpenter reports analyzing Solvency II and its attendant issues as they are finalized over the next several months.

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8. 2010 Catastrophe Update: Part I, Global Insured Losses in 2010: 2010 has proved difficult for the reinsurance industry. Spiraling costs from disasters in the first six months of the year particularly, coupled with overcapitalization in the reinsurance sector, created a difficult operating environment. Despite the lack of big U.S. losses in what was one of the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, insured losses from global catastrophes reached USD36 billion in 2010, up from USD27 billion in 2009 . Natural hazards continued to be the largest source of losses in 2010 at USD31 billion, while man-made disasters cost (re)insurers USD5 billion. Total losses (both insured and uninsured) reached USD222 billion. Some 260,000 people lost their lives to worldwide disasters in 2010, including around 220,000 people in the Haiti earthquake.

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9. Update: Floods in Thailand: Thailand has experienced its worst flooding in years over the last few months, leaving more than 420 people dead and causing severe damage across northern and central regions of the country. The floods have severely damaged and disrupted manufacturing operations in Thailand.

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10. Market in Transition at July 1, 2011 Reinsurance Renewals, According to Guy Carpenter: In the first quarter of 2011, the reinsurance sector’s dedicated capital position fell by 4.4 percent to about USD165 billion. In the second quarter, reinsurance capital remained essentially flat and moderately down year-to-date. While the global catastrophe losses of 2011 and the version 11 release of Risk Management Solutions, Inc.’s catastrophe model (RMS v11) have impacted reinsurers’ view of risk, the longer-term implications remain to be seen. This will come into sharper focus when recent event losses are fully realized and the industry reaches consensus on the integration of the model changes.

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