Global reinsurers’ underwriting performance will continue to improve in 2022 as premium rate increases take hold, with further rate hikes expected as a result of higher catastrophic losses, continued low interest rates, and mounting inflation concerns.
The four largest European based reinsurers, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Hannover Re, and SCOR, reported sharply higher profits in the first half of 2021. This is compared with the same period in 2020, likely as a result of lower COVID-19 claims and hardening property/casualty prices.1
All four reinsurers reported positive price momentum during the summer renewals. A combination of low interest rates, rising loss-cost trends, and better modeling of secondary perils will also support price increases over the next 12-18 months, although they will likely be more moderate than in 2020 and early 2021.1
Nevertheless, concerns remain about how future underwriting results will be affected by deteriorating loss-cost trends, rising social inflation, and litigation costs. The pace at which the global economy recovers will also affect this. We are likely to see these trends on a global scale and not just in Europe.
1 “Europe Reinsurers’ H1 Profits Climb on Lower Covid Claims, Hardening Prices: Moody’s.” Insurance Journal, 19 Aug. 2021, https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2021/08/19/627919.htm.