19 October 2022Insurance

Swiss Re will meet rising cat demand if it means balanced book

Swiss Re is prepared to grow through the 2023 reinsurance renewals – and is ready to take on more cat business. But it will only do this if it can retain adequate diversification in its book by also growing other lines, officials indicated in a pre-Baden-Baden press conference.

Demand for nat cat cover could grow enormously in the 2023 renewals, Swiss Re’s head of northern, central & eastern Europe, Frank Reichert, said.

“Most of our clients are considering buying additional nat cat capacity for the year,” Reichert said.  He puts the additional demand in Germany alone at €2 to 2.5 billion.

“This feels like an easy opportunity for Swiss Re to grow, as we have the capacity,” Reichert said.

The catch:  Swiss Re isn’t in the business of picking up stand-alone nat cat for the fun of it. “We also need to take care of our portfolio diversification and balance: we will not grow our nat cat independent of other lines of business.

“We expect good growth of our portfolio across all lines of business,” Reichert said, “…. across all EMEA, across all markets.”

The willingness by Swiss Re to accept more nat cat could fuel growth in other lines. Swiss Re’s head of EMEA casualty, Torsten Steinmann, thinks business “will be better for reinsurers with appetite for nat cat than those with no nat cat.”

One area of growth it is particularly keen on is risks linked to the green energy transition. Anne Lohbeck, head of global specialty, says Swiss Re has been investing heavily to capture the ensuing opportunities in engineering and construction as well as marine and energy.

It stresses that, regardless of line of business, it will want to discuss higher retentions and better structures and terms. But Swiss Re has bucked the market trend by talking up its capacity more than threatening its reduction.

“Despite having so very challenging a renewal, some say the most challenging ever, Swiss Re will honour our long-lasting partnerships,” Reichert said. “We are ready to go with these clients into 2023 renewals right now.

“Swiss Re is ready to go; we are ready to go now. We believe in the partnerships with our clients, the long-standing, the newer ones and also maybe the new ones for next year. We are open for business.”

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