P&C companies seeing mixed reinsurance markets

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  • These days, many property and casualty insurance agents may be wondering about the ways in which their companies will alter their plans when it comes to these policies specifically, because of the ways in which such changes might impact their own jobs. Now, it seems that many executives in the industry say that they’re going to see more issues in the reinsurance markets for these types of coverage.

    Today, 55 percent of P&C insurance chief financial officers say that they think the reinsurance market for property insurance is somewhat soft when compared with that of the primary market, according to a new survey from Towers Watson. At the same time, slightly more than one in three felt the same way about casualty insurance.

    This may be particularly significant because 97 percent of all executives surveyed said their companies currently use traditional reinsurance, but at the same time, the majority don’t utilize alternative capital to protect their bottom lines, the report said. Slightly more than a quarter use insurance-linked securities or would do so, and a little less than three in five say they would either consider buying through a collateralized reinsurer or are doing so already.

    Feelings about the market
    Further, it should be noted that only about one in five executives thinks that these reinsurance companies need to consolidate, and slightly less than a quarter also note that they think this will take place within the next two years, the report said. In addition, there might be some concerns about regulatory issues that arise in the near future; only 10 percent of P&C executives polled say they’re going to change their operations to meet new requirements related to reinsurance overall.

    “The opportunities in the risk transfer market are just starting to be realized. Many fresh sources of capital are seeking investments that are uncorrelated to their existing investment holdings,” said Stuart Hayes, senior consultant, Towers Watson. “With risk transfer arrangements continuing to evolve, we anticipate P&C insurers hastening their participation in various structures across the risk transfer spectrum, thus complementing their traditional reinsurance programs.”

    If these issues continue, some P&C insurance agents may need to change their approaches to their jobs. While working with consumers on a daily basis to sort out claims and other issues will still likely be the biggest part of their jobs, the fact remains that any changes to the ways in which their companies approach coverage could necessarily impact the kind of work they have to do.