March 11th, 2016

Week’s Top Stories: March 5 - 11, 2016

Posted at 8:00 AM ET

The Fundamental Challenges In Unlocking Publicly Held Loss Exposure and The Role of Public-Private-Partnerships: Despite growing awareness of the challenges associated with managing risk, there is much work to do in bringing together the public and private sectors to solve for this growing need. Fortunately, all potential participants acknowledge that in the current environment collaborating to develop solutions will benefit all stakeholders. For example, involvement on the part of the (re)insurance industry in sustainable partnerships to manage risks held by government has become more pronounced. Insurers from across the globe, representing 20 percent of world premium volume with USD 14 trillion in assets under management, have partnered with the United Nations to strengthen the industry’s commitments to sustainable development and to establish Principles for Sustainable Insurance.

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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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The Emerging Risks Quandary, Anticipating Threats Hidden in Plain Sight: Marsh & McLennan Companies’ Global Risk Center has published a new report, The Emerging Risks Quandary. Many companies struggle to articulate the precise relevance of global and emerging risks to their business, and are poorly organized to make timely decisions. This report explores what impedes corporate efforts and sets out how companies can blend creativity and pragmatism to look beyond predictable and controllable risks to complex uncertainties that have the potential to generate more than mere volatility in corporate earnings. 

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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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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…

Tracking and Modeling New Integrated, Intricate Technology Risks: Casualty (re)insurers do not cover standalone emerging risks. A product defect (with recall) or a latent bodily injury resulting from new technological nano-products or Unmanned Aerial Systems risks, could lead to class action lawsuits and ultimately large liability claims including products liability as well as professional liability. This emergent reality, however, is difficult to address. A carrier would need to identify and model several possible epicenters of a liability chain reaction and follow their rapidly spreading implications throughout a portfolio. Without new powerful casualty modeling capabilities as well as highly granular data on the products and subcomponents that each of their insureds manufacture and sell globally, this process would be time-consuming, impossible to complete and likely to miss key threats and underlying exposures.

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