It is still “too early” to understand the full impact of COVID-19 on the European reinsurance market in a year marked by a number of catastrophe losses and social inflation on casualty lines, said Bertrand Romagne, chief executive, Europe and chief underwriting officer P&C for AXA XL.
However, he told Intelligent Insurer, reinsurers that have a global footprint, are financially sound and are confident in their ability to manage this phase of the cycle, “continue to offer capacity to their clients”.
In addition to this, Romagne said: “We have seen rate improvements across the market these last few years and the trend has intensified in 2020.
“Although we are seeing a need for rate improvement across all classes of business, it’s been driven by those that have been most affected by losses. The specialty market, with significant market losses in energy and aviation recently, is one of them.
“More recently, we have seen rate improvements on classes that aren’t affected by losses. That is a clear sign of a hardening market, which was expected after a 10-year period of decreasing rates where exposure and losses both went up.
“There has been a significant degree of uncertainty among insurers this year due to COVID-19, and with interest rates likely to remain low for the foreseeable future, we believe we’re likely to see a steady period of rate correction across the market.”
AXA XL, COVID-19, Insurance, Reinsurance, Catastrophe, Losses, Casualty, Bertrand Romagne, Europe