arrow_down.jpg









SUBMIT arrow_up.jpg
arrow_down.jpg




SUBMIT arrow_up.jpg

Global CAT Losses Put Pressure On Reinsurers

Mounting catastrophe losses are straining reinsurance capacity and causing reinsurers to seek new capital, Pierre Ozendo, who heads up property/casualty for Swiss Re America Corp., told the recent annual seminar of the International Insurance Society in Chicago.
"Worldwide natural catastrophe losses have gone up dramatically in the past two years, due to intensifying storms and the concentration of more assets in catastrophe-prone areas," Ozendo said. He pointed out that property/casualty premiums grew 47 percent in the 2002-2005 period compared with 32 percent in the previous four years. This was almost twice the growth rate of overall property/casualty premiums.
In addition to the greater frequency and severity of catastrophes along with the escalation of insured values in vulnerable areas, Ozendo said many reinsurers are under financial pressure from rating agency downgrades that impede efforts to raise capital. "A number of companies have left the business since 2004 due to the impact of catastrophe losses," he observed. He predicted more consolidation as the reinsurance industry struggles to cover dramatically growing exposures.
Ozendo said natural catastrophe risks also are rising dramatically in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, particularly Japan. This means reinsurers need to spread their risks globally, he pointed out.