Don’t Look Now, But More Reinsurance Price Increases on the Way

September 8, 2022
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Fresh on the heels of massive reinsurance price increases in June, which helped send some property insurers into insolvency or out of the Florida market, reinsurers are now likely to raise premiums again in the next few months.

Analysts with financial ratings firms said this week that pressures from inflation, the war in Ukraine, climate change and capital market volatility will lead to new price hikes, Reuters news agency reported.

“We do expect rate rises to continue,” S&P Global lead analyst for insurance Ali Karakuyu told a media briefing. “Depending on the segments that you are looking at, the rate rises will vary, but on average, I’d say mid-single digit (percent).”

A survey of reinsurance buyers published by ratings agency Moody’s on Tuesday showed most respondents expect reinsurance rates to rise next year. Reinsurers such as Swiss Re, Munich Re and the Lloyd’s of London market have been busy raising rates in the past few years to recoup losses from natural catastrophes such as hurricanes and wildfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and from sanctions on Russia and countermeasures due to the Ukraine war. But more is needed.

Property rates in the United States and Caribbean market – exposed to natural catastrophes – were expected to rise particularly strongly, in the “high-single to low-double” digit percent range, the survey showed.

But pressure on reinsurance premiums in the energy sector may lessen as reinsurers have pulled back from underwriting Russian firms due to sanctions, Helena Kingsley-Tomkins, senior analyst at Moody’s, told Reuters by phone.

“Demand from Russian companies is obviously disappearing from the market.”

Reinsurers meet in Monte Carlo next week for their annual conference for the first time since 2019, after the event was halted during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will be discussing rates with their insurer clients ahead of the Jan. 1 reinsurance renewal season.

Reinsurers’ capital dropped by 11% in the first half to $647 billion, hurt by financial market declines, broker Gallagher Re said in a report on Tuesday.

Topics Trends Reinsurance Pricing Trends

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