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Reinsurance Market Stabilizes Amid Rising Global Capacity

Reinsurance Market Stabilizes Amid Rising Global Capacity

In a critical mid-year reassessment, the Australian property catastrophe reinsurance market has steadied, witnessing minor price reductions across the board.
Favorable conditions and an uptick in global capacity have shaped this emerging landscape.

"The current scenario represents a well-balanced alignment of demand and supply, with reinsurers showing increased willingness to commit their extensive capital," noted Tom Wakefield, CEO of Gallagher Re.

Across the Australasian region, the market exhibited less fluctuation in property catastrophe quotes compared to last year, indicative of achieving sustainable long-term pricing. According to Gallagher Re, prices remained relatively stable with select cases experiencing risk-adjusted reductions on higher layers.

The latest statistics reveal Australian catastrophe reinsurance rates for properties without previous losses fell between 0-10%, whereas those hit by losses saw increases of 5-10%. Casualty sectors, meanwhile, displayed steadiness, backed by robust perceived price appropriateness.

Tony Gallagher, CEO of Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific, highlighted a 4% rise in regional demand against a 10% surge in supply, resulting in a softening of market dynamics. "In Asia-Pacific, first-half renewals smoothly transitioned with rate reductions noted in non-loss-impacted programs," he explained. "We also observed a stabilization of terms, conditions, and structures, with minor modifications driven by policyholders."

Guy Carpenter’s analysis corroborates that most property placements were finalized early or on schedule in an evolving market context. Global property catastrophe rates, when adjusted for risk, displayed flat to modest declines mid to high single digits; particularly in upper layers, some instances fell over 10% for non-loss-impacted profiles, suggesting a "moderating yet robust" pricing sphere.

Reflecting on prior challenges, Aon emphasized that the recent renewal season in Australia and New Zealand saw a return to stability. Comparatively low natural disaster losses over the preceding year set the stage for outcomes characterized by predictability, with reinsurers actively showing interest in regional catastrophe risks.

Significant insured loss events, such as the Christmas and New Year storms and Cyclone Jasper, primarily impacted insurers due to higher net retentions from last year’s renewals, leading to more conservative losses for reinsurers.

"While there is increasing support for lower-layer placements, reliance on traditional aggregate reinsurance remains limited," observed Aon. "Nonetheless, discussions regarding alternative solutions have gained momentum."

A notable development, the cyclone reinsurance pool, swayed demand by reducing property catastrophe reinsurance needs by roughly $3-$4 billion last year. Large insurers had integrated the pool by December end, with smaller insurers expected to follow suit by year-end.

Aon concluded, "The integration of the cyclone pool into catastrophic programs reflects a mature understanding and acceptance within the market."

Published:Thursday, 4th Jul 2024
Source: Paige Estritori

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