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April 2009/2

  • Aon's revamp of its UK pension structure comes as the big three global brokers continue to target cost cutting measures within a difficult trading environment.
  • Rates for national US property-catastrophe reinsurance programmes rose by between 10 and 14 percent on a risk-adjusted basis at 1 April renewals, continuing the hardening trend seen in January’s renewals for catastrophe-exposed lines, according to broker
  • Texas-based Southwest Insurance Partners Inc (SWIP) has put on hold plans for a private offering to raise up to an additional $100mn in capital due to the uncertain economic outlook, The Insurance Insider can reveal.
  • Global reinsurers' capital may have deteriorated by a further 10 percent in the first quarter of 2009 as stock markets continued to slide, according to Guy Carpenter (GC)’s head of business intelligence Chris Klein.
  • Hurricane forecasters from Colorado State University have lowered an early prediction of 14 named storms in the upcoming Atlantic season to 12.
  • Class of 2005 start-up Lancashire Holdings said last week it expects to benefit from a surge in demand for Gulf of Mexico (GOM) energy capacity in the second quarter, after deliberately holding back capacity in the first three months.
  • The momentum behind hardening in the airline insurance market has seen average lead hull and liability rate rises of 5 percent in 2009, according to a sector update from Aon.
  • US life insurers were handed a boost last week with reports that the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is to be officially extended to the beleaguered sector.
  • New cat bond sponsor Assurant Inc has launched a $150mn US wind transaction, while Allianz has increased the size of its Blue Fin II cat bond to $180mn...
  • The European insurance and reinsurance federation, the CEA, has emphasised its support for re-considering Solvency II’s contentious group provision after the directive has been in place for three years.
  • Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has revised its outlook on French composite insurer Groupama to negative from stable, citing increased pressure on the company’s capital adequacy resulting from the sharp decline in market conditions.
  • Ratings agency Moody's has completed a hat-trick of negative agency actions against Warren Buffett-owned Berkshire Hathaway, by downgrading the financial strength ratings on its insurance subsidiaries from Aaa to Aa1.