Posts Tagged ‘A.M. Best’
There is a great deal of overlap between the goals of government regulators and credit rating agencies. The difference, however, is in the output, with regulators providing a license to trade, or not, and the rating agencies offering a graduated scale of relative strength. Regulatory solvency approval can be viewed as a “qualifier” or minimum standard required to be considered by a customer. A credit rating, on the other hand, can act as a “winner” or differentiating factor that results in a successful sale.
The chart shows that a preliminary estimate of total capital dedicated to reinsurance is approximately USD 400 billion, unchanged from the previous year.
Businesses and (re)insurers should be concerned by risk aggregation, given the possibility of single attacks leading to losses across a large number of firms, which can create counter-party risk for the insured and potential failure for the insurer. At the moment, a large systemic event has not materialized, but that does not mean that the risk is not present.
Mark Murray, Senior Vice President
Technology and innovation continue to change the world around us, creating both opportunities and new challenges for the (re)insurance industry. Advances in risk quantification such as predictive analytics and capital modeling, to name a few, are changing the way we underwrite, price and manage risk. Similarly, technology is allowing A.M. Best (Best’s) to advance the analytics of risk supporting its assessment of balance sheet strength. Taking advantage of stochastic modeling technology, the evaluation of risk within Best’s capital model is undergoing a fairly substantial overhaul to broaden the lens used to analyze risk relative to capital. The technology allows efficient production of multiple capital metrics adjusted for a range of risk levels rather than risk represented by just one data point, providing deeper insights into balance sheet strength, risk profile and risk appetite. The benefit of this overhaul will be a rating that provides greater differentiation among companies, a more informed dialogue around capital versus risk and a more concise measure of “excess” or “deficient” capital. This new lens on capital will significantly influence the way (re)insurers view, measure, communicate and possibly even manage risk.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has been continuously engaged in the formulation of the regulatory standards that the International Association of Insurance Supervisors is developing, but has expressed several concerns due to the different legal, regulatory and accounting systems that exist. The NAIC does not want the Insurance Capital Standard (ICS), which is to be a consolidated group-wide standard, to undermine the legal entity capital requirements in the United States. As a result, the NAIC is trying to ensure that any ICS be supplemental to jurisdictional capital requirements and include a common methodology by which it achieves comparable (substantially similar) outcomes across jurisdictions. The NAIC is working through the ComFrame Development and Analysis (G) Working Group (CDAWG), which was formed early last year, to provide on-going input with respect to all developments in this regard.
Guy Carpenter’s estimate of dedicated reinsurance sector capital as of July 1, 2015 was again produced through our work with A.M. Best. Our estimate is not a simple aggregation of the capital of all companies that write reinsurance since some capital is allocated to the insurance business or other outside interests. In fact, we have seen increased evidence that some companies are shifting capital toward insurance lines and away from reinsurance lines based on the current rate environment. A.M. Best and Guy Carpenter have estimated the amount of capital dedicated to writing reinsurance by reviewing A.M. Best’s proprietary capital model (BCAR) results as well as line of business allocations. Our current estimate of total capital dedicated to reinsurance is approximately USD 400 billion of which the convergence capital, including catastrophe bonds, industry loss warranties (ILWs), collateralized reinsurance and sidecars is USD 66 billion.
Jay Woods and John S. Haldeman II, Co-chairmen of Guy Carpenter’s Mutual Company Specialty Practice
Mutual insurance companies of all sizes currently face challenging market conditions where success requires not only focused distribution and operational excellence, but also access to increasingly sophisticated analytics services and products. How these firms use their resources and advanced technology to respond to these issues will separate market outperformers from underperformers.
Mark Murray, Senior Vice President
The major rating agencies covering the reinsurance sector (A.M. Best, S&P, Moody’s, Fitch) have all voiced concerns with the industry’s ability to adjust to the seemingly overwhelming headwinds currently facing the sector. With A.M. Best recently changing its outlook, the view of the reinsurance sector across the rating agencies is now unanimously negative.
The evolution of dedicated sector capital is presented below. Guy Carpenter estimates dedicated sector capital remained at near record levels having risen to approximately USD400 billion at year-end 2014 from traditional rated markets and all sources of alternative capital including sidecars, collateralized reinsurance vehicles and catastrophe bonds.