Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Insurance: Property Casualty Looks to Be Extremely Profitable This Year (TRV; CB; ALL; AIG)

The insurers are going to have to find a way to lower the apparent level of profitability or face some angry customers later this year.
The tornado season, after the horrific Moore Oklahoma EF-5, has been very quiet:
As can be seen the count for 2013 is running below the record low of 2012.
In addition, according to NOAA's Hurricane Research Division it has been over 2800 days since the last Category 3 or higher hurricane has made landfall.

Furthermore, Munich Re (master marketers) had to report that disaster losses in the first half of 2013 were running at half the ten year average and were faced with the conundrum of how to frame this good news. Here's the press release:
9 July 2013 | Reinsurance

Press release
Floods dominate natural catastrophe statistics in first half of 2013
Floods causing billions of dollars in losses dominate the natural catastrophe statistics for the first half-year 2013. Around 47% of the overall losses and 45% of the insured losses derived from inland flooding that occurred in Europe, Canada, Asia and Australia. Altogether, at around US$ 45bn, losses from natural catastrophes were below the average amount for the past ten years (US$ 85bn). Insured losses totalled approximately US$ 13bn (ten-year average: US$ 22bn). 

By far the most expensive natural catastrophe in the first half-year was the flooding in southern and eastern Germany and the neighbouring states in May and June, which gave rise to an overall loss of more than €12bn (US$ 16bn) and an insured loss in the region of €3bn plus (US$ 3.9bn). The majority of the insured losses occurred in Germany. By way of comparison, the Elbe flooding in 2002 caused an overall economic loss of US$ 16.5bn, of which US$ 3.4bn was insured.

“The frequency of flood events in Germany and central Europe has increased by a factor of two since 1980. But particularly with floods, an increased hazard – such as more frequent heavy rainfall events – need not necessarily result in higher losses. Such a rise in losses can be prevented by better flood control”, said Board member Torsten Jeworrek. “It is therefore important to sharpen risk awareness. Rivers need room so that flood waves can disperse without causing serious damage. And the flood risk needs to be considered in the designation of land for industrial or residential areas. Politicians should not only set up emergency funds after catastrophes but should act with greater foresight, engaging in prudent supraregional flood control, which should ideally be coordinated across national borders.”...MORE
It is time to dig into those loss reserves to see just how profitable the p/c guys really are, this report seems to be on the low side: 
Travelers Profit Rises 85%

Of course as I write this there is a tropical wave (98L) coming off Africa which, to punish my hubris, will probably develop into a cat 5 larger than Tip.