January 1st, 2016

Week’s Top Stories: December 26, 2015 – January 1, 2016

Posted at 8:00 AM ET

Developments in Europe: Solvency II: After a long period of discussion and many delays, the new European insurance regulatory regime, Solvency II, will commence in January 2016. The rules will be compulsory for all insurance and reinsurance companies and groups in the European Economic Area (EEA). The three pillar approach of Solvency II for (i) quantitative capital requirements, (ii) qualitative risk management standards and (iii) reporting specifications, was derived from the international banking sector regulation (Basel II and Basel III). The Solvency II rules were developed over a period of more than 15 years, and there are many reasons for the long delay. Two notable reasons are differing business models from country to country and pressure on long-term guarantee products.

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Winter Storm - December 26 - 29, 2015: A complex frontal system has rendered significant impacts to the Southern, Southwestern, and Midwestern States, with an ongoing threat from the Midwest to the Saint Lawrence Valley to the Northeast. The system brought severe thunderstorms to the Northern Gulf states, with a confirmed EF-4 tornado affecting the Dallas area, causing several fatalities and extensive structural damage. Excessive rainfall has produced significant and historic flooding in the Central Mississippi Valley. Significant winter weather including heavy snow and ice continues to threaten areas from the Midwest to the Northeast, after nearly 40 inches of snowfall in New Mexico and over half an inch of ice reported from Texas to Illinois. Significant power outages have been reported for some areas. Transportation disruption has been especially severe for both land and air.

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Update on China Counterparty Risk Charges for Offshore Reinsurers: China’s developing insurance market is a potential bright spot for growth in an otherwise challenging landscape for global reinsurers. Driven by a maturing economy and expected increases in household penetration ratios, property/casualty insurance premium, totaling USD 121.6 billion in 2014, is projected to increase to roughly USD 300 billion by 2030. 

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A Clearer View of Emerging Risks: Conclusion: With the world rapidly changing and evolving, what was the case 10 years ago is not the case today and will not be 10 years from now. As discussed in detail in this report, A Clearer View of Emerging Risks, new technologies can impact people in their everyday lives through the products we use, how long we live, how much we spend to keep ourselves healthy and where our information is stored. All of these carry inherent risks that are new to the world and that may not be a part of the historical dataset upon which (re)insurers rely for pricing and/or establishing proper risk controls.

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GC Securities* Report Shows Catastrophe Bond Market Continues to Hold Steady: GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp., a U.S. registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/NFA/SIPC, released a briefing and analysis of catastrophe bond activity for the third quarter of 2015, which shows healthy activity across the market and marks the fourth highest third quarter catastrophe bond issuance on record.

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And, You May Have Missed…

Marsh & McLennan Companies Publishes Cyber Risk Handbook: Cyber risk is an escalating threat and one of the most challenging issues facing the world today. Attacks are becoming more frequent, more intense and more sophisticated. Motivations are wide-ranging - from financial gain to threatening critical infrastructure and national security - and the nature of attacks is constantly changing. With cyber risk, there is an active adversary so defenses need to be increasingly sophisticated to keep pace.

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*Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the United States through GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp., a US registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/NFA/SIPC. Main Office: 1166 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone: (212) 345-5000. Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the European Union by GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. (MMCSEL), which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, main office 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS. Reinsurance products are placed through qualified affiliates of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC. MMC Securities Corp., MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. and Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC are affiliates owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies. This communication is not intended as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any security, financial instrument, reinsurance or insurance product. **GC Analytics is a registered mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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