EMEA Commercial Insurance Market ‘Stable’ Says Marsh Report

February 16, 2010

A new report from Marsh has concluded that “despite the global recession, the commercial insurance market remained stable in the second half of 2009. This provided many organizations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with opportunities to enhance their insurance protection or obtain price reductions for some types of coverage.”

Marsh’s report, Competition Nets Rewards – EMEA Insurance Market July-December 2009, analyzes 10 major commercial insurance lines across 42 countries in EMEA. The report concluded that organizations in EMEA continued to secure premium rate reductions for most types of insurance in the second half of 2009, “as a result of intense competition among established insurers and new marketplace entrants affording additional capacity and offering new products.”

Among changes to insurance rates for various classes of business across EMEA, Marsh found the following:
— Property: rate reductions of up to 40 percent to 50 percent
— Motor: rate reductions of up to 40 percent to 50 percent
— Casualty: rate reductions of up to 20 percent to 30 percent
— Employers’ liability/workers’ compensation: rate reductions of up to 20 percent to 30 percent
— Professional indemnity insurance: rate reductions of up to 10 percent to 20 percent
— Directors’ and officers’ liability: rate reductions up to 10 percent

However, Marsh’s data reveals that trade credit and financial institutions insurance buck the trend of downward or flat pricing, as follows:
— Increases in trade credit insurance coverage ranged from more than 50 percent in Greece and Lithuania. The average increase in the UK and Ireland ranged from 10 percent to 30 percent.
— Increases in financial institutions’ insurance ranged from more than 40 percent to 50 percent in Turkey, to 10 percent in Switzerland and South Africa. In the UK and Ireland, increases ranged from 10 percent to 30 percent. Rates remained flat in 14 countries, including Sweden, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Chris Lay, Marsh’s EMEA Sales Leader, commented: “Marsh’s latest figures reveal that current conditions in many industry sectors mean that organizations have the opportunity to capitalize on competition in the insurance market. They can do this by strengthening their insurance programs, thus protecting themselves against the financial consequences of a wider range of risks.

“However, it is clear from our research that trade credit and financial institutions insurance have been worst impacted by the global economic downturn. High loss ratios have caused insurers in these lines of business to increase their rates significantly while also reducing their capacity, despite increased demand for these types of cover. This strategy is restricting the market even further. The ongoing claims notifications we are seeing under these covers means further rate increases are likely in the next six months.

“The most competitive lines of business are expected to remain unchanged in 2010 in the absence of any significant loss event, given the excess capacity in some local markets. The majority of countries across EMEA generally expect local markets to stabilize over the course of 2010, which is good news for insurance buyers in the region.”

The report is available at: www.insurancemarketreport.com/emea

Source: Marsh – www.mmc.com or www.marsh.com

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