Changing distribution models and access to alternative capital are creating new opportunities for mutual insurers to capitalize on the traditional reinsurance market and strengthen existing relationships, while leaving many reinsurers concerned about their portfolios and access to future growth, according to executives from Willis Re.

“Traditional reinsurers are very aware that while some larger commercial buyers are reducing their use of reinsurance in this phase of the reinsurance cycle, mutual buyers value long-term sustainable relationships throughout the entire cycle,” said Robin Swindell, EVP of Willis Re. “This is the perfect time for mutuals to demonstrate that they are reinsurers’ preferred customers.”

Because mutual insurers are owned by policyholders, rather than external shareholders, they have less access to other forms of capital and often are heavily reliant on reinsurance for capital to manage catastrophes and large losses.

“Mutual insurers are in business for their members for the long-term and should receive the recognition they deserve from reinsurers. Like mutuals themselves, reinsurers should never leave their loyal customers in the lurch,” said John Haydon, EVP of Willis Re.

“Seismic changes occurring in the traditional reinsurance market are clearly favorable for mutual insurers,” said John Cavanagh, Willis Re CEO. “Willis Re has always been a strong advocate of the long-term business models characterized by mutual insurers, and will continue to provide analytical and transactional support to our clients in this important market.”

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