Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reinsurance: "Bermuda Insurers’ profits Destroyed"

The original headline said profits were "decimated" but that's only a 10% decline, deci-, get it?
Here we're talking 87-88%.
From the Royal Gazette:
Bermuda insurers’ profits were decimated last year by huge catastrophe losses, the latest figures from the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) showed.

Data based on 21 of ABIR’s 22 member companies showed that their combined net income was nearly $1.5 billion last year, down from $11.4 billion in 2010.

But their shareholders’ equity held steady at around $90 billion, despite the losses, and the group of 21 also wrote more business, with gross premiumns written rising to $65 billion from $62 billion in 2010.
The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, earthquakes in New Zealand, severe weather in the US and floods in Thailand made last year one of the most expensive on record for insurers and reinsurers. 

“It’s remarkable that the re/insurers in the ABIR membership could absorb record-setting catastrophe losses, yet on average continue to maintain a steady, solid capital base,” said noted Bradley Kading, ABIR president and executive director. “This accomplishment is a testament to the underwriting discipline and diversification of business that makes this market strong.

“One of the great stories of the mega cat loss year of 2011, is that global reinsurers absorbed 45 percent of the $105 billion in record-setting catastrophe losses. Risk spreading, pooling and diversification work, but protectionist regulations impede this risk spreading. If protectionism prevails through either regulation or tax policy, the insurance markets will be damaged as reinsurance supply will be fragmented and more difficult to obtain.”...MORE