April 10th, 2014

GC Capital Ideas Reviews Climate Change After New IPCC Report

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

In light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) latest report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, released on Monday, March 31, here is a review of recent GC Capital Ideas stories focused on climate change.

Responding to Climate Change:  It is vital for (re)insurers to consider how climate change could impact future losses. Global warming potentially poses a serious financial threat to the insurance industry with implications for catastrophe risk perception, pricing and modeling assumptions.

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Climate Change: A Look into the Future: Global climate models project a best estimate of a further two to four degree (Celsius) increase in the mean temperature of the Earth by the end of this century. Although this may seem insignificant on an intuitive level, the resulting impacts are of significant concern. Sea-level rise is the most significant threat for coastal areas as a result of melting glaciers. Apart from this threat, changing weather patterns will result in drought and inland flood threats for some areas. As a general principle of climate change, changes to the mean of meteorological extreme value distributions can be expected but an increase in tail thickness (or variability) is of greater concern. The day-to-day variability that we see today will likely expand.

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The Reality of Global Warming: The increase in the global mean air temperature, as compared to the 1951-1980 average and the surge in average oceanic heat content for the 0-700 meter layer is depicted in these graphics. The increase in oceanic heat content in particular is notable as it takes a very large amount of energy to heat such a volume of water.

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Global Warming: Adaptation Measures: The IPCC publications represent scientific consensus among many of the world’s top scientists (and scientific consensus is difficult to achieve). Their findings are generally consistent with the broader scientific literature.

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Global Warming: Losses: Economic losses resulting from natural disasters increased from USD75.5 Billion in the 1960s to USD659.9 Billion in the 1990s. Insured losses have also increased, and “the dominant signal is of significant increase in the values of exposure.” Furthermore, the IPCC states that “failure to adjust for time-variant economic factors yields loss amounts that are not directly comparable and a pronounced upward trend for purely economic reasons.”

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Global Warming: The Evolving Risk Landscape: Global warming is an established scientific fact, and one that cannot be explained by statistical “noise” or natural variability alone. The single greatest threat under global warming is that of sea-level rise, which is expected to increase coastal flood frequency and severity under tropical cyclone, extratropical cyclone and tsunami events. The growing urban footprint and population density in coastal areas amplifies the financial and societal implications of such events.

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April 9th, 2014

April Renewals Bring Price Reductions & Focus on Tailored Coverage

Posted at 11:30 PM ET

Guy Carpenter  reports that the April 1, 2014 renewal was marked by price reductions and more tailored reinsurance coverage. Strong balance sheets, an abundance of capacity and a consolidation of buying led to lower reinsurance pricing across most territories and business segments at the renewal.

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April 9th, 2014

Chart: Chile Holds Spot on Most Expensive Earthquakes for Insurers

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

In light of last week’s 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Chile we highlight a spring 2013 GC Capital Ideas table ranking the most expensive earthquakes for insurers. A seismic event in 2010 put the South American nation on that list.

As reported in GC Analytics’ CAT-i report, a full assessment of the scope and severity of the impacts of the recent quake has yet to emerge, but initial reports do not indicate damage of exceptional severity to resilient structures. At least six fatalities have been reported. It also created a tsunami wave of 6.9 feet, which produced tsunami warnings as far away as Hawaii, Japan and Indonesia.

fivetop-eq

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April 8th, 2014

GC Capital Ideas Top Stories: First Quarter 2014

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

1. January 2014 Renewal Report: Capacity: Evolution, Innovation and Opportunity: The January 1, 2014 renewal saw rates on line (ROLs) fall significantly in nearly all regions and business segments as relatively low loss experiences, strong balance sheets and an influx of capital spurred competition and innovation in the reinsurance market. This culminated in a marketplace focused on meeting individual client needs as reinsurers reacted to the challenge posed by alternative markets and alternative markets, in turn, sought to deliver unique solutions. Insurers also looked to capitalize by adapting their buying strategies and prioritizing their risk transfer goals.

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2. Chart: Global Property Catastrophe ROL Index: The Guy Carpenter Global Property Catastrophe Rate on Line index is presented for 1990 through 2014. The index fell by 11 percent at January 1, 2014.

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3. Chart: Rate Movements by Business Segment: Reports rate movements at January 1, 2014.

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4. Chart: Regional Property Catastrophe ROL Index: The chart shows the indexes for United States, United Kingdom, Asia Pacific and Europe.

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5. Global Catastrophe Review, 2013: The year provided a respite for the (re)insurance industry following above-average losses in 2011 and 2012, with insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters estimated at around USD40 billion, according to Guy Carpenter & Company. This is considerably less than the ten-year average loss of approximately USD60 billion and well below the most significant years of 2005 and 2011. This can be partly attributed to the unusually quiet 2013 Atlantic tropical season. About 47 percent of insured losses in 2013 were reported in the Americas, 31 percent in Europe and 20 percent in Asia and Australasia.

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6. Chart: Top Ten Catastrophe Bond Transactions: The chart ranks deals in 2013, as compiled by GC Securities*, a division of MMC Securities Corporation.

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7. Chart: Catastrophe Bond Issuance and Capital Outstanding: Issuance reached a record high of USD7.1 billion, surpassing 2007’s total. Risk capital outstanding also reached an all-time high of USD18.6 billion last year.

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8. Chart: U.S. Property Catastrophe Reinsurance Quoting Behavior: In this graphic, the January 1, 2014 average quote across all programs is represented by the line at 0 percent, while the red dots indicate reinsurers’ distances from the mean across all the programs that they quoted. The size of the line represents the variability from the average for all quotes provided by the reinsurer. Each reinsurer is represented across the bottom of the chart by its A.M. Best rating. Quotes representing non-concurrent terms were excluded.

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9. Chart: Evolution of Dedicated Reinsurance Capital, 2012 - YE 2013: The evolution of dedicated sector capital is presented in this graphic. Guy Carpenter estimates this rose marginally in 2013 to USD322 billion at year-end as underwriting profits from low catastrophe claims and convergence capital inflows offset unrealized losses, sustained share buybacks and dividend payments.

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10. Chart: Pension Fund Capital Under Management and Allocations into Reinsurance: The illustration shows that pension funds alone are worth around USD30 trillion. Based on Guy Carpenter’s analysis of possible capital allocation percentages to the (re)insurance space in consultation with sector experts, a maximum of USD900 billion of this amount could potentially be available for insurance-linked investments. This figure is, of course, much greater than currently needed, demonstrating the existing convergence-driven supply excess. Given Guy Carpenter estimates global property catastrophe limit is currently in excess of USD300 billion, and the insurance linked securities market only accounts for around 15 percent of this amount, pension funds have so far made very small investments in reinsurance relative to their overall size.

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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.

April 7th, 2014

GC Capital Ideas Top Stories: March 2014

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

1. 2013 Closes with Near Record Catastrophe Bond Issuance According to GC Securities*: GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp., a U.S. registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA/SIPC, released an analysis of activity and trends within the catastrophe risk market from the fourth quarter of 2013, also including the outlook for 2014. According to the report, influence from direct capital markets’ participation in reinsurance programs, coupled with catastrophic insured losses well below historical averages in 2013, put significant pressure on global catastrophic reinsurance pricing. As a result of significantly reduced pricing, relative to recent years, approximately $7.1 billion worth of new property and casualty (P&C) catastrophe bonds were issued in 2013 - the second highest record year for P&C issuance.

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2. Time Off for Certain Behavior: Behavioral economics is a fascinating field and one which actuaries should be aware of in their everyday work. It is the study of inherent biases in human decision-making. Many examples of these biases have been cited in connection with the financial crisis, and increasingly the implications for insurance are being examined. In a speech entitled ‘The Human Face of Regulation’ in April 2013, Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), explained how the FCA is going to use the principles of behavioral economics in the protection of the consumer.

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3. January 2014 Renewal Report: Capacity: Evolution, Innovation and Opportunity: The January 1, 2014 renewal saw rates on line (ROLs) fall significantly in nearly all regions and business segments as relatively low loss experiences, strong balance sheets and an influx of capital spurred competition and innovation in the reinsurance market. This culminated in a marketplace focused on meeting individual client needs as reinsurers reacted to the challenge posed by alternative markets and alternative markets, in turn, sought to deliver unique solutions. Insurers also looked to capitalize by adapting their buying strategies and prioritizing their risk transfer goals.

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4. Cyber Review: As Guy Carpenter launches its new Cyber Solutions Specialty Practice, we review recent GC Capital Ideas stories on cyber.

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5. Chart: Global Property Catastrophe ROL Index: The Guy Carpenter Global Property Catastrophe Rate on Line index is presented for 1990 through 2014.  The index fell by 11 percent at January 1, 2014.

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6. Increasing External Demands Compel Companies to Improve Risk Management Disclosures: Guy Carpenter released its latest Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Benchmark Review that provides an in-depth analysis of risk management practices and policies of 67 insurance and reinsurance companies located in Europe, United States, Bermuda, and Asia-Pacific. Based on publicly-available data from financial and risk reports, Guy Carpenter’s ERM Benchmark Review reveals that most (re)insurers are managing capital with metric-based frameworks and are publishing more about their risk management targets than seen in Guy Carpenter’s 2009 analysis. Capital market, legislative, and regulatory influences, such as the approaching implementation of Solvency II, are expected to further compel company managements to better recognize and analyze the risks of their enterprises.

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7. Guy Carpenter Makes Senior Promotions: Guy Carpenter announced that Massimo Reina was promoted to the position of CEO of Continental Europe and MENA, with immediate effect. He succeeded Peter Stubbings, who took up the position of Chairman of the firm’s Bermuda operations.

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8. Global Catastrophe Review, 2013: The year provided a respite for the (re)insurance industry following above-average losses in 2011 and 2012, with insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters estimated at around USD40 billion, according to Guy Carpenter & Company. This is considerably less than the ten-year average loss of approximately USD60 billion and well below the most significant years of 2005 and 2011. This can be partly attributed to the unusually quiet 2013 Atlantic tropical season. About 47 percent of insured losses in 2013 were reported in the Americas, 31 percent in Europe and 20 percent in Asia and Australasia.

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9. Chart: Rate Movements by Business Segment: Reports rate movements at January 1, 2014.

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10. What is Food Security? : Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Fundamentally food has to be safe, nutritious and available in sufficient quantity. On a global scale these are always achievable. It is at a country or smaller geographic territory-level where problems often arise.

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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.

April 4th, 2014

Week’s Top Stories: March 29 – April 4, 2014

Posted at 8:00 AM ET

ERM Benchmark Review, 2013 Update: In April and October 2009, Guy Carpenter published two briefings titled “Risk Profile, Appetite and Tolerance: Fundamental Concepts in Risk Management and Reinsurance Effectiveness.” This briefing is an update of those studies that summarizes the information publicly disclosed on enterprise risk management (ERM) measures.

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8.2Mw Earthquake Near Chile Coast: An 8.2-magnitude earthquake was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) about 40 miles off the northern coast of Chile yesterday evening. More than 60 aftershocks were reported following the initial event, one of which was measured of magnitude 6.2. Shaking was felt as far away as La Paz Bolivia, over 290 miles (470 km) away.

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Chart: Global Property Catastrophe ROL Index: The Guy Carpenter Global Property Catastrophe Rate on Line index is presented for 1990 through 2014.  The index fell by 11 percent at January 1, 2014.

Read the article>> 

 

January 2014 Renewal Report: Capacity: Evolution, Innovation and Opportunity: The January 1, 2014 renewal saw rates on line (ROLs) fall significantly in nearly all regions and business segments as relatively low loss experiences, strong balance sheets and an influx of capital spurred competition and innovation in the reinsurance market. This culminated in a marketplace focused on meeting individual client needs as reinsurers reacted to the challenge posed by alternative markets and alternative markets, in turn, sought to deliver unique solutions. Insurers also looked to capitalize by adapting their buying strategies and prioritizing their risk transfer goals.

Read the article>> 

 

Chart: Regional Property Catastrophe ROL Index: The chart shows the indexes for United States, United Kingdom, Asia Pacific and Europe.

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And, You May Have Missed

Recent Sun Flare Event Is a Reminder of Solar Weather Hazards: On Monday, February 24, 2014, the sun once again provided a reminder of the potential hazards of solar weather events. A large solar flare was reported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) measuring at X4.9 (or according to the National Weather Service’s Space Prediction Center, an R3 (strong) Solar Flare Radio Blackout) that could cause severe disruption to satellites and technology on Earth.

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April 3rd, 2014

ERM Benchmark Review, 2013 Update: Part IV

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Capital Management

Capital management using risk-based capital models and capital allocation is a central component of risk management practices. We have investigated this topic as a new chapter for our 2013 ERM Benchmark update. In this context, Table 3 shows the portion of companies that publish concrete data on their excess capital - the amount of capital retained in excess of a certain target amount. Table 3 also shows both the portion of companies using risk-based capital models in the risk management process and the portion giving some indication of the methodology of the capital allocation process.

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April 2nd, 2014

8.2Mw Earthquake Near Chile Coast

Posted at 2:56 PM ET

chile-eq-2014smallAn 8.2-magnitude earthquake was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) about 40 miles off the northern coast of Chile yesterday evening. More than 60 aftershocks were reported following the initial event, one of which was measured of magnitude 6.2. Shaking was felt as far away as La Paz Bolivia, over 290 miles (470 km) away.

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April 2nd, 2014

ERM Benchmark Review, 2013 Update: Part III

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Risk Types

Table 1 (below) quantifies the proportion of companies in the sample that disclose the method as well as the specific level of various risk quantifications. Compared to our previous ERM benchmark study, a new metric referring to catastrophe risk has been added. Taking advantage of the increased level of disclosure and transparency on catastrophe risk exposure, we have extended our reports to include this in view of its importance in the economic capital approach of (re)insurers.

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April 1st, 2014

ERM Benchmark Review, 2013 Update: Part II

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

2013 Update General Observations

Before focusing on the results of the latest study, we would like to reaffirm the definition of risk profile, risk appetite and risk tolerance found in our previous publications:

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