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As 2019 comes to an end Tom Johansmeyer, head of PCS at Verisk, looks back at the year.
We’re looking back on yet another tough year for reinsurers. Thanks to Typhoons Faxai and Hagibis, 2019 has become the third consecutive catastrophe loss year that’s significant for the reinsurance and retro markets. Underwriters, actuaries, and modellers will doubtless have a wide range of lessons learned, but for me, it’s all about propaganda.
Once a catastrophe strikes, everyone needs ‘the number’ almost immediately. And they don’t have much to go on. Within 24 hours of both Faxai and Hagibis, my phone vibrated almost nonstop, with market players looking for anything they could use to develop some sort of view of the events—not that I had anything to give that early, frankly.
We all know that nature abhors a vacuum, but it doesn’t abhor opportunism. The early need for ‘the number’ creates the perfect conditions for companies to shape the perception of a particular loss event—behaviour that’s ever so useful with the annual reinsurance renewal looming.
ILS, losses, 2019, reporting, data, PCS, Tom Johansmeyer