Willis Towers Watson has announced that overall placements in the international market through its Global Markets Hub have increased by 67% year over year to reach US$525 million (around £407 million) in premium, despite the challenges created by the events of this year.
Willis Towers Watson made the announcement in a market update for clients. Key points included:
- Embracing technology: The market has embraced both remote work and the use of electronic placing platforms such as PPL. Willis Towers Watson said. The collaboration between brokers and underwriters has led to increased efficiency in month-end binding. The company said that markets have “in the main remained pragmatic in the face of COVID claim notifications.”
- Political and social uncertainty: Coverage for strikes, riots and civil commotion has received scrutiny from some markets following the Black Lives Matter protests, although it continues to be available in the property market. “In a few instances the specialist market has provided a more competitive solution,” Willis Towers Watson said.
- Silent cyber: Firmer market conditions have allowed underwriters to follow through on their determination to eliminate “silent cyber.” Cyber is now more likely to be specifically excluded or affirmatively covered in many lines of insurance, the company said.
“Despite being what is undoubtedly the most unusual period of my career, the first half of 2020 has shown that the international market is able to step in at times of uncertainty,” said Garrett Gaughan, head of property and casualty for the Global Markets Hub. “While there has been upward pressure on pricing, we have been able to work with underwriters – in extraordinary circumstances – to continue to fill out placements and meet clients’ coverage needs, which is a testament to the strength of the market.”
However, Gaughan warned that “the direction of travel does not look set to change anytime soon. This is being compounded by the predicted above-normal hurricane season. While the insured losses to date have been modest, these continue to erode the premium base for many carriers and a more significant loss from future storms will only lead to a tougher marketplace.”