Amlin sees improved rating outlook
Reinsurer Amlin Plc said their third quarter saw more catastrophe claims activity and difficult investment markets in what the company described as “already the most costly year on record for economic losses”.
According to the firm’s interim management statement released yesterday, while there was no major single catastrophe event in the third quarter, Amlin did see frequency of events including floods in Copenhagen, wildfires in Texas and Hurricane Irene that slammed the east coast of the US. Industry estimates for insured losses for the late August storm range from $3.4 billion to $6.8 billion.
“Whilst this will impact on the current year’s full year financial return, the outlook is improving, with rating levels in a number of important markets for Amlin continuing to strengthen or beginning to turn positively,” read the statement.
Amlin, the biggest Lloyd’s of London insurer by market value, suffered record catastrophe losses of $250 million in the first half of 2011, due to claims from natural disasters in Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
According to the statement, many of these third-quarter claims have been contained by retrocessional reinsurance with the net additional losses being approximately £25 million above catastrophe budgets for the second half of the year.
Overall, the global company’s gross written premiums for the ten months in 2011 were up 7.1 per cent over the same period in 2010, which is attributed to new business in several Amlin locations, including Amlin Bermuda, located on Front Street.
The quarter-end statement doesn’t take into account Amlin’s potential exposure to the heavy Thailand flooding, which early estimates from reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter have set at an industry total of $9.8 billion. According the interim statement, “it is too early to provide details of Amlin’s estimated losses”.
The company reports that the pricing environment in the catastrophe reinsurance market has “markedly improved” from the early part of the year and has been strong in the third quarter.
“We expect this to continue into 2012 with rate increases at January 1 taking US rates back to peak levels and greater balance in the international portfolios,” read the statement.
Amlin reports they have seen improvement in their UK and US commercial lines business, particularly their UK commercial motor business.
“This provides Amlin with the ability to allocate capital towards these growth areas as we continue to retract from poorly rated markets,” read the statement.
US catastrophe reinsurance rates have improved and their property and casualty rates have remained stable, driving improved pricing, says the company.