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.
Posts Tagged ‘US’
Current capital requirements in the United States are set at a legal-entity level. Yet there are currently no global requirements for companies that operate in more than one country, and calculation formulas for capital requirements typically vary in each jurisdiction. Solvency II is the closest to mandating a group standard. Solvency II uses the concept of “equivalence” to deal with differing capital regimes between the European Union and the rest of the world including the United States, instead of forcing Solvency II standards on a third country.
Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) was first introduced as a regulatory requirement as a result of Solvency II. (Re)insurers would be wise to take note of the many similarities between Solvency II and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) ORSA and, where possible, avoid reinventing the wheel when trying to implement them. Now, and especially with the introduction of the Insurance Capital Standard (ICS), it is increasingly important for (re)insurers to avoid unnecessary, redundant and duplicative activity in the attainment of regulatory satisfaction by striving for a uniform framework to establish risk management and controls, corporate governance, transparency and disclosures across borders. In so doing, (re)insurers will gain optimum value from their ORSA.
GC Securities* Report Shows Moderated Catastrophe Bond Activity, Mixed Pricing Levels at Year-End 2015
GC Securities*, a division of MMC Securities LLC, a U.S. registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/NFA/SIPC, today released a briefing of catastrophe bond activity for the fourth quarter and full year analysis of 2015. According to GC Securities, although 144A property and casualty (P&C) catastrophe bond primary issuance levels were charted as uncharacteristically low in the fourth quarter, totals at year-end were only slightly lower than the all-time high levels seen in 2014, with 2015 issuance totaling USD 5.917 billion, and outstanding risk capital totaling USD 22.640 billion, as of December 31, 2015.
From January 21-23, a significant winter storm affected areas of the United States from the Southeast to the Mid-Atlantic to New England. The winter storm, unofficially named “Jonas” by the Weather Channel, produced significant snowfall totals from Washington D.C. to the New York Metro area, breaking many daily snowfall records. Strong winds together with blowing snow often reduced visibility below a quarter mile. Strong onshore winds brought hurricane-force wind gusts to some areas and drove a storm surge impacting areas of Delaware and New Jersey.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has stipulated that “the solvency framework of the U.S. system of state-based Insurance regulation has included a review of the holding company system for decades, with an emphasis placed on each insurance legal entity. In light of the 2008 financial crisis and the globalization of insurance business models, as discussed in this report, U.S. insurance regulators have begun to modify their group supervisory framework and have been increasingly involved in developing an international group supervisory framework (1).”
The regulatory system in the United States has best been described as a national system of state-based regulation consisting of state insurance departments from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories (1). Although there have been questions raised about the system and challenges to it over the years, its regulation remained primarily within the purview of the state regulators through the protection afforded under the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945, which expressly provided that “Acts of Congress” that do not expressly purport to regulate the “business of insurance” will not preempt state laws or regulations that regulate the “business of insurance.”
The chart shows the indexes for United States, United Kingdom, Asia Pacific and Europe.
Guy Carpenter & Company reports that overall capital levels dedicated to reinsurance have stabilized, showing no growth for the first time in several years. In a highly competitive environment, companies assessed broader opportunities and the rate of incoming capital slowed. However, moderate loss experience kept capacity at abundant levels for the January 1, 2016 renewals. The continued scarcity of costly catastrophe losses and more than adequate capacity led to reinsurance pricing reductions, although there are signs the rate of descent is slowing as compared to 2015.
A complex frontal system has rendered significant impacts to the Southern, Southwestern, and Midwestern States, with an ongoing threat from the Midwest to the Saint Lawrence Valley to the Northeast. The system brought severe thunderstorms to the Northern Gulf states, with a confirmed EF-4 tornado affecting the Dallas area, causing several fatalities and extensive structural damage. Excessive rainfall has produced significant and historic flooding in the Central Mississippi Valley. Significant winter weather including heavy snow and ice continues to threaten areas from the Midwest to the Northeast, after nearly 40 inches of snowfall in New Mexico and over half an inch of ice reported from Texas to Illinois. Significant power outages have been reported for some areas. Transportation disruption has been especially severe for both land and air.