Thursday, December 14, 2017

Cat Bonds/Reinsurance: California Fires Could Force Payouts

From Artemis, Dec 14:

2017 is different for aggregate cat bonds, wildfires a threat: Twelve Capital
Insurance and reinsurance linked investment fund manager Twelve Capital highlights that 2017 is a very different year for aggregate catastrophe bonds, as wildfire risks which typically only contribute a small amount of any cat bonds expected loss could be the peril that tips a number of transaction into paying out.

ILS manager Twelve Capital said that California wildfire damages are, in a typical year, not expected to result in cat bond losses, but 2017 has proven to be different, placing a number of bonds at particular risk.

Before 2017, the largest U.S. wildfire industry loss was recorded at around $4.5 billion, a figure which is likely to be more than doubled by the October wildfires in northern California which are now set for a $10 billion or more loss to insurance and reinsurance interests.

Of the $4.5 billion previous wildfire industry loss record, Twelve Capital said, “Compared to losses caused by major hurricanes, which often exceed USD 10 billion, this is a relatively small amount and hence explains why the expected loss contribution from wildfires in cat bonds is typically minimal.”
As a result, the 2017 wildfires could change the way catastrophe bonds are modelled, in terms of the contribution to expected losses that the wildfire peril contributes, especially for aggregate industry loss trigger deals.

Twelve Capital says that “the situation is different this year” for aggregate catastrophe bonds, as these multi-peril transactions have already seen a substantial amount of the aggregate attachment eroded by events including hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, leaving less of a buffer to protect investors in the notes.

Twelve Capital says that it believes that “the insurance industry’s losses from October’s wildfires are likely to exceed USD 10 billion.”

This is an increasingly widely held view, as evidence emerges in the form of loss estimates for some insurers that appear to suggest the insurance and reinsurance industry loss total could rise further into double-figures.

Add in the losses that the industry will face from the December outbreaks of California wildfires and it’s possible that these aggregate deductibles will be further eroded, placing more of these multi-peril catastrophe bonds that cover wildfires at risk of loss or lowering the chances of a further event during their current risk period causing a loss to the notes....MORE
Also at Artemis, Dec. 13:
California wildfires have now destroyed 1,200+ structures in December