Atlas Magazine October 2010

State of the art

Arriving in Monte Carlo at the beginning of September, insurers, reinsurers and brokers are always asking the same question over and over again. How will the market react next year?

In fact, the Monte Carlo congress is not limited to this short-term vision, focused on the reinsurance rates only. Instead, it allows to assess the forces on the ground. The status by mid-September 2010 is as follows:

  • the concentration goes on. The first five reinsurance groups detain 50% of the worldwide premiums.
  • the state of the European countries' public finance does not enable them to generate a substantial premiums' growth.
  • the emerging countries are the engine of growth. The Asia Pacific zone and Brazil are becoming important poles of development.
  • threatened by the American legislation, the Bermudan market embarked on a relocation trend towards Europe.
  • the financial crisis has triggered a mood of stiffness among the authorities who do not hesitate to increase the level of taxes on insurers. Insurance is sanctioned for its abuses.
  • globalization has given rise to several kinds of markets disconnected from one another. The large groups do not deal with everyone anymore. Henceforth, it is the local subsidiaries that “handle” the local clients.

Paradoxically, much money continues to flow in reinsurance. It is the current overcapacity and not the reinsurers' results that will bring the rates down.

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