Hannover Re chief on underwriting status in Russia

Comments made during earnings call

Hannover Re chief on underwriting status in Russia

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

The underwriting of new risks and contracts renewal for policyholders in Russia are a no-go at present, according to Hannover Re chief executive Jean-Jacques Henchoz (pictured).

During the reinsurer’s earnings call on March 10, Henchoz was quoted as saying, as shown in the transcript published by Seeking Alpha: “Let me make a few comments on the impact of the war in Ukraine. It is too early to fully assess the potential impact in detail today, even though the group exposure in terms of premium and the assets in the affected region is not material.

“There are a number of uncertainties around the impact of sanctions and restrictions of international payments, as well as the post-war order to be expected. This all might have an impact on insurance coverage in one way or the other.”

“The underwriting of new risks or the renewal of contracts with customers in Russia is currently on hold,” noted the CEO. “The same is true for Belarus, although we don’t have any business in that country.”

Executive board member Sven Althoff added that the level of information Hannover Re has at hand at this point from the ordinary course of looking at underwriting information is not very detailed.

“We have to build all that together with the ceding companies,” explained Althoff. “And that’s where quite a bit of the uncertainty is coming from. Also, for many of those coverages, a lot will depend on how the post-war regime will look like and to what kind of understanding Russia will come with the rest of the world when it comes to trade sanctions and the like.”

On Thursday Hannover Re reported a 39% increase in its group net income for the 2021 financial year, to €1.23 billion, despite “considerable” losses in both property & casualty and life & health reinsurance. Meanwhile, a dividend of €5.75 per share will be proposed at the company’s annual general meeting.  


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