Insurers in the UK were subjected to a record number of high-level inspections by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) last year despite the regulatory body saying it would be scrapping what is an intensive and time consuming process for companies. Some claim the increase in onsite inspections represented a regulatory backlash following the UK banks’ well documented failures.
Senior executives at JLT Reinsurance (North America) believe a structure used in a recent deal that helped Citizens Property Insurance Company, Florida’s residual insurance company, transfer 31,000 policies to a new company and reduce its exposure by some $30 billion in the process could lead to similar deals in the future and opportunities for JLT Re as a result.
A benign year for catastrophes has helped UK-based Amlin post strong results for 2012, which have been praised by analysts. The re/insurer has also entered into an agreement to acquire a specialist P&I and marine insurer based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
The latest delay in the implementation of Solvency II until 2016 represents an opportunity for some insurers to deal with any outstanding run-off and US-based Asbestos Pollution and Health Hazard (APH) liabilities.
A number of recent acts of terrorism and violence against energy companies and their facilities around the world have led to an upsurge of interest in terrorism and political violence coverage. This is being matched by buoyant levels of capacity in the sector, despite a sense of unease among insurers underwriting these risks.
Bermuda-based Endurance Specialty Holdings has announced that Jerome Faure will join the company on March 11 as CEO of global reinsurance. He will be responsible for Endurance’s North America, Bermuda and international reinsurance operations. Most recently, Faure was a partner in ILS Capital Management in Bermuda focused on insurance linked securities, industry loss warranties and collateralized reinsurance. Prior to that, he served as director and chief underwriting officer for Tokio Millennium Re. He started his career at Scor.
Gunther Saacke, the chief executive officer of Q-Re, the reinsurance subsidiary of Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), believes the unique ownership and capital structure of the reinsurer can offer cedants much-needed diversification on their panels away from the “vagaries of Wall Street”.
The constant delays around the process for the Solvency II directive to be approved and ultimately implemented by the European Parliament represent a source of great frustration to European insurers in need of certainty around if and when the directive will come into force.
The insurance industry should expect more consolidation and greater competition in the years to come with the most successful firms becoming those that can innovate quickly and launch new products into new markets. But the industry must also resist yet more regulation.
XL Group’s recent expansion of its US reinsurance operations with the opening of offices in Dallas, Texas and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, combined with the launch of a property facultative arm to cover the western region has been prompted by a desire to get closer to its clients and work with them more strategically.