Munich Re’s recent Insurance Market Outlook 2013 study has concluded that the global insurance market is likely to show continuously strong growth until 2020, with particular strength expected to be visible in emerging economies – although growth in the reinsurance market is likely to be slower than that of the main insurance industry.
According to Willis Re, the reinsurance broking arm of Willis Group Holdings, many traditional reinsurers now see the flow of capital coming into the reinsurance market as a direct threat to their existing portfolios.
New research from London-based CP Consulting, a firm that specialises in financial services market research, has revealed that aggregators are becoming a ‘material and strategic’ distribution channel for insurers and an ‘important reference point’ for European consumers.
Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, has said in his annual letter to shareholders that dim prospects lie ahead for the insurance industry, as it faces the dual challenges of unprofitable underwriting and a low interest rate environment.
The increasing cost of Solvency II, the regulation that seeks to make sure that insurance companies are holding sufficient reserves to pay their policyholders, has been criticised by Andrew Bailey, head of the UK Financial Services Authority’s Prudential Business Unit.
The AA British Insurance Premium Index released at the end of January has suggested that motor insurers are putting more weight on factors other than gender, including occupation, now that they are prohibited from using gender as one of the factors to determine the price of premiums.
UK-based research consultancy Insight Discovery released a new report in December 2012 suggesting that regulators and financial services industry persons in the Gulf Co-Operation Council (GCC) group of countries need to work together to adopt global best practices and thus benefit consumers in the region.
Global reinsurance intermediary Aon Benfield has announced the launch of a new flood model specially tailored to Thailand to help global insurers better understand exposure risks in the country, which is one of the most flood-prone countries in the world – although, despite this, it had not experienced any major flood-related insurance losses before 2011.
The European Union (EU) ruling prohibiting insurers from setting premiums along gender lines provides a one-off opportunity to raise rates with the introduction of the new rules on 21 December, according to Fitch Ratings.