In Figure 1, RBC Ratio is defined as the ratio of aggregate Total Adjusted Capital to Authorized Control Level RBC for each of 111 combined insurance groups. Plotted against BCAR, there is clearly a strong correlation between the measures, though the relationship is not perfect.
Posts Tagged ‘rating agencies’
Micah Woolstenhulme, Senior Vice President
This post is Part II of an earlier post that reviewed a session held at the Casualty Actuarial Society Annual Meeting. In that session, attendees hypothetically viewed the P&C industry as a single large company. Audience members were shareholders and session panelists adopted various executive and leadership roles in the company. The meeting’s task was to vet an economic capital model before the board of directors, allowing individual shareholders the freedom to openly question the model’s input and results. This model, if properly developed and embedded into the company’s strategic management, would represent a key component of the Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) Summary Report that will be required of large companies in the industry as early as 2015. Along the way, the presentation and board discussion were interrupted to poll the audience members on several interesting questions.
Micah Woolstenhulme, Senior Vice President
At the 2012 Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, the general session, “Economic Capital Modeling for ORSA in the U.S. Property and Casualty (P&C) Industry: The Stakeholders Convene,” afforded participants a novel opportunity to satisfy their continuing education credits. In that session, attendees hypothetically viewed the P&C industry as a single large company. Audience members were shareholders and session panelists adopted various executive and leadership roles in the company.
Although improvements in ERM practices meant (re)insurers were better prepared for the major catastrophes of 2010 and 2011 than those in 2005, the global nature of these losses has prompted some companies to review their perception of risk. This international loss trend, along with insurance growth in emerging market regions, is driving the need for better and more comprehensive tools for modeling risk. It also reinforces the need for (re)insurers to carefully consider how and where they diversify their business geographically and the adequacy of pricing in these territories.
Paul Silberbush, Managing Director
Capital models are becoming more and more “embedded” into property and casualty (re)insurers’ business processes. These models are typically constructed with two distinct and often contrasting purposes: 1) measuring capital for rating agency and/or regulatory requirements and 2) risk management and strategic business planning.
Standard & Poor’s (S&P) proposed insurance rating criteria framework includes significant changes that may adversely impact financial strength ratings of (re)insurers. The new framework is expected to be published and become effective in early 2013. Guy Carpenter has examined the three key proposed criteria changes. In our opinion, these can drive rating changes especially for (re)insurers in the United States and other developed countries with “A” and “AA” range financial strength ratings.
The Market ratings remain the principal measure of financial strength to be applied to operations underwriting at Lloyd’s, but several rating agencies separately provide syndicate-specific analysis. These analyses can support the reinsurance-buying decision-making process, but it is dangerous to rely on them without understanding the varying underlying methodologies. (None of these products are endorsed by Lloyd’s.)
The financial strength ratings assigned to Lloyd’s by S&P, A.M. Best and Fitch have been relatively stable in the 15 years since the first rating was assigned. During this period, the (re)insurance industry and Lloyd’s itself have undergone dramatic change as they responded to the major challenges of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, devastating US and Gulf of Mexico hurricanes and other natural catastrophes that occurred across the globe. The softening casualty insurance market and the global financial crisis also caused difficulties during this time. The current Lloyd’s ratings assigned by each rating agency are at their original levels - a significant achievement given that most of Lloyd’s peers have failed to recover their pre-2001 ratings.
On July 9, 2012, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) issued a Request for Comment on proposed changes to its criteria for rating insurance companies globally. Although S&P expects the overall impact on global ratings to be modest, the proposed changes are significant and may adversely affect individual rated (re)insurers. The new criteria are expected to be published in late 2012 or early 2013.
Here we review GC Capital Ideas’ recent series on alternative risk transfer.
Alternative Risk Transfer: Part I, Adverse Development Cover, Aggregate Stop Loss: Alternative risk solutions are used to address the following client motivations: rating agency issues, adverse development, earnings stability, reserve and premium leverage issues, reinsurance recoverables, terrorism risk, capital optimization constraints, mergers and acquisitions, discontinued lines of business, provide coverage for gaps in traditional placements and optimizing costs. The structured risk team designs customized solutions to achieve a particular client’s goals. An optimal reinsurance structure is determined by capacity needs, risk tolerances, capital management, cost of risk and degree of confidence in results. A cedent will need to balance the cost of transferring sources of risk with not only its own capital management strategies but also capital requirements imposed by rating agencies.
Alternative Risk Transfer: Part II, BCAR Impact, Quota Share and Working Layer Excess of Loss Covers: Purchasing an aggregate stop loss provides a positive impact to the BCAR score by decreasing the capital charge. In year one, the benefit of the purchase is applied to the premium risk charge for the current accident year with benefit to the reserve risk charge in future years. In the first year, the accident year stop loss may reduce the premium risk charge significantly. The biggest reduction in the premium risk charge will occur when the stop loss provides protection between A.M. Best’s estimate of the expected loss ratio and 35 percent to 45 percent above that estimate. The decrease in the capital factor is equal to the limit purchased net of the AP that must be paid in the event of a loss. Surplus is reduced by the after-tax margin paid. For the second year, the reduction in capital charge is applied against the loss reserves. This reduces the benefit in the second year from that achieved in the first year, as the reserves are net of loss payments made in year one.