A holistic approach that optimizes the use of the two traditionally separate areas of balance sheet management within the current market environment has proven to be extremely challenging for non-life insurers. The key issue for non-life insurers is how to boost return on capital in a continuing low-yield environment. In the first of the Holistic Balance Sheet Management series, Andrew Cox, Capital Optimization, Guy Carpenter, and Niall Clifford, Financial Strategy Group, Mercer, discuss how insurance companies may optimize their capital while addressing their concerns over economic capital, earnings risk, ratings agency requirements and increasing constraints due to Solvency II.
Posts Tagged ‘solvency’
A holistic approach that optimizes the use of the two traditionally separate areas of balance sheet management (reinsurance and investment strategy) can make a significant difference to (re)insurers’ financial results. (Re)insurers should seek to address both the asset and liability sides of the balance sheet in an integrated manner.
To consider the impact that these cycles may have on the financial statements and solvency positions of insurers there has to be an understanding of the magnitude of any change in ultimate loss and the likely timing of the recognition of that change. The profit or loss in any financial year is a combination of the profit and loss from that accident year and also any recognized changes in the reserves from prior years.
Casualty (or liability based) catastrophes have become increasingly frequent and severe over the past decade, exposing (re)insurers to much more risk than they may have realized and reserved for. One root cause can trigger a chain reaction that can bleed balance sheets and even imperil solvency. Until recently, casualty carriers had little choice but to accept this risk as losses emerged.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC’s) Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) goes into effect on January 1, 2015. Currently, many (re)insurers are in the process of developing and implementing their ORSA plans and approaches to the new regulation. They may be challenged over how much work has yet to be done and how best to do it. However, while some of the challenges are understandable, through “Business Management Integration” (BMI) there is an easier and more reliable way to approach this new regulation.
When banks in Europe and the United States become unable to honor their financial obligations in 2007 and 2008, governments bailed them out. But why? The standard answer is that politicians faced a terrible choice. They had to choose between saving insolvent banks largely “as is” in the short-term, or unleashing economic chaos. Recovery and Resolutions Plans (RRPs) are supposed to stop such a dilemma arising again.
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.
Guy Carpenter hosted “Volatility - Opportunity or Threat?” the Reinsurance Symposium held in Baden-Baden on October 21. The event examined how volatility is viewed within the insurance and reinsurance sectors, particularly from a financial perspective, and explored the potential which market turbulence can generate.
Lloyd’s has a well-developed risk management framework. A number of committees provide oversight for the Market and detail what is required of members in terms of their own risk management. Lloyd’s is required to conduct an ICA for the Market as a whole, using the normal FSA risk categories to examine risks that are not captured within syndicate ICAs. This process aims to determine the level of capital required to be held centrally that can withstand a 1-in-200 year event over a one-year time frame. The Lloyd’s ICA is an important driver for the Council in determining the optimum level of central assets. Another key driver is the expectation that the costs of mutuality will be less than 1 percent of members’ GWP across the insurance cycle. The central assets target and the level of contributions are regularly reviewed in light of the Market’s current financial position and forecasted needs.