Price corrections drive rates up at April reinsurance renewals

Reinsurance buyers faced similar discipline to that seen at the Jan. 1 renewals

Price corrections drive rates up at April reinsurance renewals

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

Price corrections drove reinsurance rates up at the April 1 renewals, according to the latest 1st View renewals report from global reinsurance broker Gallagher Re.

Buyers faced similar discipline to that seen at Jan. 1 at the April 1 renewals, according to the report.

In some cases – especially within smaller markets that had avoided previous rate hikes – reinsurers imposed significant structural changes. These adjustments may have a profound impact on ceding insurers’ financials, Gallagher Re said in the report.

“No particular geography was immune from the price corrections that reinsurers maintained throughout the 1 April set of renewals,” said James Kent, global CEO of Gallagher Re. “We saw an enhanced pricing impact based on individual clients’ performance and their reinsurer relationships, but even the most favored clients paid more, with reinsurer discipline being evident across the market. 

“Capacity was adequate to get cedants’ exposures covered, but April renewals are an inappropriate yardstick for the market’s overall supply-demand relationship as it is so heavily weighted towards Japanese exposures, which are significantly lower than the peak US exposures,” Kent said. “But we certainly didn’t see any meaningful new capacity, or any other indication that reinsurers are prepared to cede their hard-won pricing territory anytime soon. The combination of catastrophe losses and mark-to-market investment losses in 2022 means reinsurers will continue to coax the market towards rates which will help returns exceed the cost of capital.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • The market has seen similar discipline to that seen at Jan. 1, but with a tighter focus on pricing and contract improvements across all territories and to all business lines
  • Capital remains constrained with limited signs of new capacity and existing reinsurers facing mark-to-market investment losses
  • In Japan, long-term reinsurer relationships and improvements in primary underwriting led to a better alignment of client and reinsurer expectations
  • The supply/demand dynamic was finely balanced, but overall buyers were able to secure sufficient capacity
  • Similar to Jan. 1, the casualty market remained calm and logical. However, continued concern about US “nuclear” award verdicts is increasingly being felt in US casualty placements, including some treaties with incidental US exposures
  • Insurance-linked securities issuance is increasing due to capital constraints on the traditional market, although at higher pricing than traditional indemnity pricing

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