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January 2012/2

  • Analysts have struck an upbeat tone on opportunities for P&C insurers in 2012 following a heavy cat loss year and a turbulent period for equity markets amid Eurozone financial stresses
  • Outstanding capacity in the cat bond market expanded slightly in 2011 to reach $14bn after closing $4.6bn in new placements during the year, according to Aon Benfield data
  • With global reinsurers' and brokers' insured loss estimates for 2011 natural catastrophes ranging from $100bn to $106bn, last year looks set to outstrip 2005's record losses
  • The cat bond market is soaking up new demand for peak European and US reinsurance cover after retrocession capacity was squeezed at the 1 January 2012 renewals
  • Despite a mixed picture in the overall renewal season, property catastrophe reinsurers will take some cheer that the last two years of non-peak cat losses have effectively placed a new prospective 2 percent floor on the minimum cost of capacity in the class
  • Florida must substantially reduce pressure on its state-supported (re)insurance operations and strengthen the private market, according to a new Florida State University report
  • Catastrophe model changes helped drive increasing divergence in the reinsurance market at the 1 January renewals, as suppliers become more inclined to follow their own risk projections
  • Cat reinsurance renewal pricing for the industry's largest cedants threw up few surprises and varied little from the indicative country-wide pricing that has been made public
  • Fresh signs of growing unease among international regulators over the "risk free" status of sovereign debt have emerged, as Europe's creaking financial system
  • As year-end and renewal reports have been contrasted with outlooks for 2012, a consensus has emerged that reinsurer capital levels are approximately stable year-on-year
  • The European insurance watchdog has warned that the region could be facing a full-scale "meltdown" without decisive and comprehensive action from policymakers to reassure markets
  • Plaintiffs suing former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine are forming an orderly queue to be lead plaintiff in a class action suit over the once mighty broker's spectacular failure