#REinsuranceMonth sets tone for the path to 1.1

Welcome to the fifth edition of The ReInsurer, our weekly publication throughout September which has brought you news and insight into reinsurance market developments.

Reinsurance renewals

We designated September as #REinsuranceMonth to help fill the gap left by the cancellation of Les RendezVous de Septembre, the industry’s annual gathering in Monte Carlo, which was cancelled for the first time in 64 years due to Covid-19.

We hope our coverage this month has helped fill the vacuum left in the industry calendar by the lack of face-to-face events.

At the start of the month we identified a list of themes which we thought would have been the major talking points had the industry been able to decamp to the Côte d’Azur. Many of those themes relate directly to the pandemic.

We now know the outcome of the Financial Conduct Authority’s test case on business interruption claims (although an appeal is expected). Though the outcome was mixed for (re)insurers, claims impacts look less severe than originally forecast.

The industry’s reputation suffered following Covid-19 and this was examined in the first of the four virtual panel discussions we hosted this month.

Discussions around future public-private pandemic reinsurance solutions continued through the month.

Within our coverage, we revealed the European Commission (EC) is to form an official working party to examine the merits of a future public-private pandemic (re)insurance solution that could operate on a pan-Europe basis.

Hurricanes were a regular theme throughout September but losses, for the most part, appear relatively modest to date.

Changing dynamics in working practices were another theme we identified at the start of the month.

Lloyd’s re-opened its doors at the start of September, and while footfall was initially slow, it had increased to the hundreds by the middle of the month.

Several commentators have acknowledged this month that the future will ultimately see a hybrid approach to virtual/in person working as part of a long-term shift in working patterns.

As forecast, the future for the ILS market provided major talking points during September ahead of the forthcoming retro renewals. Investor appetite for cat bonds is rising but concerns still remain about collateralised reinsurance.

The potential for more rated carriers to participate in the retro market in 2021 is clear.

Conversations have also focused on how a ‘Class of 2020’ will look. While significant capital has flowed into the industry during 2020, the vast majority of this has been directed at scale-ups rather than new entities.

We continue our focus on these developments in today’s edition. As forecast, broker consolidation has remained in the news throughout the month as the ramifications of Aon’s merger with Willis Towers Watson continue to capture attention.

With the deal expected to complete in the first half of 2021, a host of medium sized brokers are positioned to take advantage of any opportunities that emerge. One topic that will play out over the next five weeks, likely in dramatic fashion, is the US presidential election.

The election could have ramifications for the (re)insurance sector, particularly if it ushers in a more claimant friendly approach. We will be keeping a watching brief on this as the story develops in the run up to November’s election.

While #REinsuranceMonth is nearly over, we will continue to bring you extensive news and insight ahead of the 1 January 2021 renewals.

The themes identified over the course of the past month will continue to have ramifications for the sector as this unprecedented year draws to a close.