Ageas Re doubles property cat line size to €20mn; enters casualty ri at 1.1

Ageas Re, the reinsurance arm of Belgian insurance group Ageas, will double its maximum line size in property cat to €20mn at the upcoming 1 January renewals, with the ambitious group also targeting a casualty reinsurance entry.

Speaking to The Insurer on the sidelines of the annual Rendez-Vous in Monte Carlo, Joachim Racz, group director of Ageas Re, said the unit had been “overwhelmed” by the support of markets following its 1 January 2023 entry into third-party property cat reinsurance.

“Out of 70 target accounts, we wrote 68 and were signed in full on 64. The support we have received has been overwhelming,” Racz said.

The unit – which underwrote premiums at the upper end of its €35mn to €40mn guidance at 1.1 – will now look to further increase its market share through a “gradual expansion” by both line of business and geography.

In property cat, the business will take up to €80mn of risk per any one uncorrelated event, with an average line of €5mn and maximum line of €20mn for 2024, up from €10mn this year.

Ageas Re, which focuses on mainly non-Asian markets, will also enter casualty reinsurance at 1.1, Racz said.

“We did push ahead on the property side at 1.1 and our business plan has exceeded expectations but our goal was always to be a twin-engine vehicle – to write both property and casualty. Now the timing is right for us to bring our capacity to that class,” Racz said.

“Our ambition remains unchanged from last year. We want to become a full-service reinsurer in the long term with a presence across all the main lines.”

Led by former Peak Re casualty specialist Stephan Rappaz as underwriting director, Ageas Re’s casualty offering will predominantly serve local and regional European clients with a personal lines profile.

It has a particular focus on motor, commercial liability and general third-party liability and will take a maximum line of €5mn for any one risk, €10mn for any one day event or a 10 percent maximum line on unlimited motor business.

Led by Racz, Ageas Re boasts former Tokio Marine Kiln reinsurance underwriter Jeremy Walker as CUO and Axis underwriter Anne Deister as head of property. More recently, Ageas Re entered the Latin American market with the appointment of Vincent Rensonnet as lead underwriter for its property team.

Racz was speaking alongside Ageas Group managing director Europe Antonio Cano, who praised the build-out of the platform, noting the unit has exceeded “all expectations” and is currently almost five years ahead of plan.

Ageas Re – which reported an internal and external protection account combined ratio of 71.8 percent for the first half of 2023 – began underwriting third-party treaty this year, using the group’s A+ rated paper and with a particular focus on European cat.

Announcing its entry into third-party reinsurance last year, Ageas noted that reinsurance has grown from an internal activity to become a significant segment of the group with a top line of €1.6bn and net profit of €87mn in 2021.