Broker reflects on the “industry-wide reset” following Jan 1 renewals


Broker reflects on the “industry-wide reset” following Jan 1 renewals | Insurance Business America

Pivotal shift in 2023 resulted in a more sustainable and healthier environment


Kenneth Araullo

Neville Ching (pictured above), chief executive officer of the Bermuda-based independent reinsurance brokerage ReFlex Solutions, has provided insights into the evolving landscape of the reinsurance market following the reinsurance renewals.

According to Ching, the industry has undergone a significant reset over the past 12 months, particularly evident in the renewals, which have paved the way for new opportunities in the coming year and beyond.

The reinsurance sector experienced a pivotal shift in 2023, now referred to as the “Great Market Reset.” This change, centered around a focus on underwriting profitability and tighter terms and conditions, has resulted in a more sustainable and healthy trading environment. The hard market conditions of 2023 are expected to lead to record-breaking full-year results for the sector, with many companies projecting combined ratios not just under 100, but deep into the 80s.

Looking ahead to 2024, the first three quarters are anticipated to be equally profitable, setting a positive tone for the January 1, 2025 renewals. Notable trends include a record year for catastrophe bonds in 2023, continued into 2024, and profitable returns for investors from insurance-linked securities (ILS) managers for the first time in years.

Favorable conditions amid the reset

The reset has also created favorable conditions for existing and new investors in the reinsurance sector. Lloyd’s of London, for instance, is expected to continue flourishing due to new initiatives aimed at attracting investors and maintaining a strict focus on underwriting profits. Brokers are also innovating, utilizing various tools to create solutions that better serve their clients.

The January 2023 reinsurance renewals were noted as challenging, marked by difficult negotiations and dislocated reinsurance protection. The industry faced several “grey swan” events and an increase in global aggregate insured catastrophe losses, posing challenges to the marketplace. However, 2024 presents a more balanced and sustainable market, with more orderly and stable negotiations leading up to the renewals.

Investors are showing renewed confidence in the reinsurance market, providing more capacity following the 2023 reset. Lloyd’s of London is introducing flexible initiatives to attract more investors, such as London Bridge and Syndicate-in-a-Box, leading to new structures and products in the market.

Innovation in the sector

The “Great Reset” of 2023 has laid the foundation for innovation through new technology, enhanced portfolio management tools, and increased investment. The environment is conducive to a robust and stable market, where brokers can continue developing creative solutions and investors can find lucrative opportunities, it was suggested.

The reinsurance sector’s outlook for 2024 is positive, especially for investors seeking a secure and profitable environment. The market reset has led to a sustainable market with long-term relevance, offering new opportunities for entrepreneurial talent.

This shift is expected to boost the delegated authority and Managing General Agents (MGA) space, and the growth of the US excess and surplus (E&S) market will likely provide investors and capital providers with opportunities to expand in niche territories and products. The combination of underwriting expertise and technological advancements is set to continue driving changes in the market.

Overall, the reinsurance sector is poised for a period of growth and innovation, with the industry-wide reset of 2023 serving as a catalyst for more sustainable and profitable operations. This environment is particularly advantageous for investors and capital providers looking to engage in specific programs or market sectors where there are measured opportunities.

As the industry navigates these changes, the focus remains on maintaining a balanced hierarchy in reinsurance negotiations, with buyers, brokers, and sellers each playing a crucial role.

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