January 10th, 2013

GC Capital Ideas Top Stories: Fourth Quarter 2012

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

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. Superstorm Sandy: Initial Impacts and Implications: Guy Carpenter has published a new briefing. As documented by the National Hurricane Center, Superstorm Sandy made landfall as a post-tropical cyclone at 8PM EDT, Monday Oct 29, 2012, with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour.

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3. Thailand Flood 2011: Executive Summary: In 2011, Thailand experienced its worst flooding in years, leaving more than 800 people dead and causing severe damage across northern and central regions of the country. The floods, lasting a few months, severely damaged and disrupted manufacturing operations in Thailand.

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4. Terrorism: Global Terror Attacks and Hotspots: The increasingly diverse and dispersed threat has seen worldwide terrorist activity rise in recent years. The number of global terrorist attacks peaked at more than 14,400 in 2006. Although there has been a slight dip in the number of attacks over the last five years, they remain at historically high levels. Attacks increased dramatically in Afghanistan and Iraq following the deployment of coalition combat troops. Several other countries have also witnessed a big jump in terrorist activity recently, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

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5. Comparing Solvency II Standard Scenarios for Windstorms with Catastrophe Model Outcomes - Updated Study: With the generalized use of catastrophe models to measure the natural catastrophe exposure of insurance portfolios, the outcomes of these models have more and more influence in the determination of reinsurance needs. With the introduction of the Solvency II regime, the decision on reinsurance purchase should also be an integral part of a company’s risk management process.

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6. Guy Carpenter Publishes Second Annual Insurance Risk Benchmarks Report: Guy Carpenter has published its second annual Insurance Risk Benchmarks, a resource designed to help insurers assess risk parameters and improve economic capital modeling. The report provides benchmarks for underwriting and reserve risk by line of business and by industry segment for U.S. exposures, and can be used by insurers when benchmarking their economic capital models.

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7. Indexation Clauses in Liability Reinsurance Treaties: A Comparison Across Europe: The Indexation Clause - otherwise referred to as the Stability Clause, Inflation Clause or Severe Inflation Clause (SIC) - is designed to maintain the real monetary value of the retention and (where applicable) the limit under a long-tail excess of loss reinsurance treaty over the duration of the claims payout pattern. The clause is only relevant to losses that are of a long-tail nature (i.e., that take a long time to become paid) and is commonly found in the terms and conditions of motor liability, general liability and professional liability third party loss excess of loss reinsurance contracts of European cedents.

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8. Reinsurance Protection: Aggregate Covers: Reinsurance remains the best form of protection against catastrophe losses. Following the increased frequency of major catastrophic events witnessed in 2010 and 2011, many companies are revisiting the benefits of aggregate coverage. Aggregate coverage has long been offered in the reinsurance market because it is a solution that focuses on mitigating the impact of the frequency of loss. While much of the focus for catastrophe coverage is around severe shock losses, aggregates are also useful for horizontal coverage needs or a combination of frequency and severity.

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9. Guy Carpenter Asia Pacific Catastrophe Report 2012; Executive Summary: At the time we were publishing our 2011 Asia Pacific Catastrophe report there was a growing realization that losses from the Thai flooding ongoing at the time were going to be significant. The Thai flood losses came at the end of a run of losses in the Asia Pacific region that were large, unprecedented in recent times and possibly unexpected by many market participants.

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10. Periodic Payment Orders - Issues and Implications for Reinsurance: Following the passage of the Courts Act 2003, which gave courts in England and Wales the power to impose rest-of-life structured settlements, known as periodical payment orders (PPOs), to provide for the long-term care and loss of earnings of severely injured third parties, the actual incidence of such awards in the market has been relatively low. It is clear however that the trend towards PPOs has accelerated over the past year, partly driven by low interest rates. This trend presents real challenges to both insurers and reinsurers of casualty classes, particularly for motor.

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