February 19th, 2016

Week’s Top Stories: February 13 - 19, 2016

Posted at 8:00 AM ET

Catastrophe Bond Update: Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2015: 144A property and casualty (P&C) catastrophe bond primary issuance levels were uncharacteristically low in the fourth quarter with an aggregate notional of USD 1.425 billion of 144A P&C catastrophe bonds issued benefiting five sponsors. The 2015 full year primary issuance of 144A P&C catastrophe bonds totaled USD 5.917 billion from 25 transactions benefiting 24 sponsors. 144A P&C risk capital outstanding as of December 31, 2015 totaled USD 22.640 billion, which is 0.56 percent lower than 2014’s all-time high in the 144A P&C catastrophe bond market.

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Meeting the Challenges: Catastrophe Modeling: The insurance industry relies to a large extent on catastrophe models to manage catastrophe risk. Regulators and rating agencies recognize this fact by asking companies to justify their modeling approach. The underlying objective of such rules is to encourage companies to have a robust and consistent process to use modeling tools responsibly.

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Guy Carpenter Reports Stable Capital at January 1, 2016 Renewals: Guy Carpenter & Company reports that overall capital levels dedicated to reinsurance have stabilized, showing no growth for the first time in several years.  In a highly competitive environment, companies assessed broader opportunities and the rate of incoming capital slowed. However, moderate loss experience kept capacity at abundant levels for the January 1, 2016 renewals. The continued scarcity of costly catastrophe losses and more than adequate capacity led to reinsurance pricing reductions, although there are signs the rate of descent is slowing as compared to 2015.

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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 (ERM) 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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Chart: Global Property Catastrophe ROL Index 1990 to 2016: The Guy Carpenter Global Property Catastrophe Rate on Line (ROL) index is presented for 1990 through 2016.

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And, You May Have Missed…

New Economics Are Creating New Medicine: Through the Affordable Care Act, many measures are being implemented that are expected to have a positive impact on bending the healthcare cost curve downward in the long term. However, the same act removed annual and lifetime limits for medical insurance claims. As a result, the maximum potential loss from a single individual is a new frontier of risk, with new heights being reached each year. This is both a frequency and severity issue.

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