Reinsurance Pricing Down for U.S. P&C Sector

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Renewals at April 1, 2013, were stable, according to a briefing by Guy Carpenter & Company LLC, a global risk and reinsurance specialist. With traditional and alternative capital sources converging, the marketplace is changing, according to Guy Carpenter, as non-traditional capacity now comprises an estimated 14 percent of global property catastrophe limit.

“The April 1 reinsurance renewal saw pricing stabilize in most regions as insurers benefited from an environment of dynamic capital growth,” said David Flandro, global head of business intelligence for Guy Carpenter. “Much of this growth emanated from non-traditional sources, confirming that the convergence between traditional reinsurance and capital market solutions has now occurred.”

Insurers benefited from this environment at April 1, a significant renewal date for the Asia Pacific region, and reinsurance pricing for that region was generally stable or fell marginally this year compared to 2011, when the Tohoku earthquake in Japan and Thailand flooding occurred, though rates increased in Korea. Non-traditional capacity in the United States is having a significant impact on property catastrophe business, Guy Carpenter said; and to date, pricing for traditional reinsurance has decreased on similar coverages from the January 1 renewal.

Highlights from the briefing:

U.S. P&C: Traditional reinsurance pricing was generally down in the single-digit range for the few placements renewing at April 1. Non-traditional capacity affected the market, which is expected to continue in June renewals.

Japan: 2012 was largely absent major catastrophe losses, and rates moderately decreased for most catastrophe excess of loss lines. Losses from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the Thailand floods influenced the 2013 renewal by limiting downward pressure on prices, Guy Carpenter said.

Republic of Korea: After being hit by three typhoons in 2012, the Korean market was turbulent. Pricing was adjusted, which resulted in rate increases to catastrophe excess of loss treaties on a risk-adjusted basis, Guy Carpenter said, and pricing for loss-affected risk excess of loss treaties rose significantly.

India: “The Indian domestic treaty renewal was subject to an environment similar to that faced by other territories in the Asia Pacific region,” Guy Carpenter said. “The softer market conditions saw reinsurance buyers increase their attachment points to save money or negotiate further in order to maintain a similar reinsurance spend against meaningful exposure growth.”

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