News Asia24 Jan 2023

Reinsurance:Cross-programme support helps navigate extreme volatility during Jan renewals

| 24 Jan 2023

Global professional services firm, Aon, has announced the launch of its latest "Reinsurance Market Dynamics" report, which reviews the challenging 1 January reinsurance renewal period and evolving market dynamics.

In the renewal season, the most difficult conditions were experienced in the property segment, driven by an evident mismatch in demand and supply. Insurers’ desire to buy more limit collided with reinsurers’ need to reduce volatility and improve profitability, after a string of poor results since 2017. Aon’s Reinsurance Aggregate has posted an average combined ratio of 101% during this period and an average return on equity of 5%.

Adding to the challenges, the renewals took place against a backdrop of high levels of inflation, significant erosion of reinsurer equity driven by a precipitous rise in interest rates and limited availability of retrocession capacity following Hurricane Ian in late September 2022.

Aon estimates that global reinsurance capital fell by 17% to $560bn over the nine months through 30 September 2022.

The outcome was a significant shift in pricing for property catastrophe and retrocession coverage on a global basis, with retentions increasing as reinsurers sought to move further away from frequency layers and terms and conditions also being tightened. The materiality of these changes was challenging, particularly for insurers that have not ceded losses and were not in peak zones.

Casualty reinsurance

In contrast to property, capacity in the casualty reinsurance market remained plentiful during the renewals period, as reinsurers demonstrated an increased appetite for the class. This led a number of cedents to explore options to build cross-programme support for casualty portfolios to build property catastrophe capacity, taking advantage of certain reinsurers’ desire to identify diversified growth opportunities.

Mr Joe Monaghan, global growth leader for Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions, said, “The latest reinsurance renewal period was characterised by fundamental shifts in market dynamics as reinsurers reset pricing, attachment points and return expectations, especially for property risk. It also created stress in many long-term client/reinsurer relationships and the emergence of new relationships as many reinsurers saw the dislocation at 1 January as an opportunity to expand their client portfolio.”

The “Reinsurance Market Dynamics” report highlights that well-informed insurers commenced the renewal process early, taking a pragmatic approach and exploring a wide range of programme options and structures, as well as protection solutions and capacity providers. Despite the challenging conditions, cedents that were earlier to market and more advanced in attaining firm orders were better placed to address gaps in capacity.

To view Aon’s "Reinsurance Market Dynamics" report, please click here.

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