For a number of reasons the United Kingdom represents an extreme example of the impact of annuity compensation structures. For severe bodily injury cases it is now highly likely that the claimant will opt for an annuity structure (known as a periodic payment order, or PPO) rather than a lump-sum. These are often indexed accordingly to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) (1). As a consequence, the uncertainties that had previously been transferred to the claimant are now retained by the insurer (and to a certain extent, its reinsurers). Unlike an individual claimant, the insurer needs to articulate these risks in its capital modeling. These risks can be categorized as follows:
Posts Tagged ‘Solvency II’
Matthew Day, Head of Rating Agency Advisory, Strategic Advisory EMEA - Capital Optimization
What drives (re)insurer capital planning? Maybe it is risk appetite, internal dynamic capital modeling or actuarial analysis. Or perhaps it is external pressure from regulators, rating agencies or investors. In reality, it is probably a combination of all of these factors. Faced with conflicting views of what constitutes both the available capital and the assessment of the amount required relative to the risk, optimizing (re)insurer capital adequacy is likely to be a key challenge confronting a company. Rarely will the company be able to fully satisfy all the demands. Developing a management framework to evaluate, analyze and compare these divergent needs is therefore essential to extract the maximum efficiency from (re)insurer corporate capital structure.
Markus Müller, Global Partners & Strategic Advisory EMEA, Capital Optimization
Increased capital efficiency remains at the forefront of (re)insurers’ strategies - owing largely to the pending introduction of the Solvency II regime, rating agency capital requirements and the continued pressure around shareholder expectations.
Guy Carpenter released its latest Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Benchmark Review earlier this year providing 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.
Here we review GC Capital Ideas entries highlighting Europe’s embrace of periodic payment orders over traditional lump sum payments for the settlement of bodily injury claims.
Time Off for Certain Behavior: The Courts Act of 2003 fundamentally changed the way that catastrophic injury claims are settled by insurers. It gave the courts the power to enforce a periodic payment order (PPO) as compensation instead of an upfront lump sum payment. A PPO is an annuity payment from the insurer to the claimant, and is designed to cover ongoing care costs, loss of earnings and other expenses associated with the injuries sustained for the rest of the claimant’s lifetime.
Chart: Prevalence of Annuity Settlements in Europe: For bodily injury claim settlements in Europe, the trend is shifting away from lump sums and towards annuity-type settlements, which come with risks related to longevity, inflation and hedging.
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.
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.
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: