According to Jamie Miller, Head of Property North America at Swiss Re, the biggest factors driving market conditions in the property market are over capacity driven by a lack of natural catastrophe losses. He sees a large number of carriers entering the excess and surplus (E&S) lines market as a result. With favorable market conditions and low cat losses, oversupply is the dominant factor.
New capital entering the market is a “real quandary.” There have been numerous stable, long-term players in the space. The new capital is using advanced technologies to get into the “right places”…to be more creative than some of the traditional markets. The debate remains to see how the new capital will perform under difficult market conditions….the true test of all insurance companies. As the E&S space changes, new capital could play an important role given the pooling/aggregation of risk that can occur.
Mr. Miller says Swiss Re is dedicated to using more risk modeling sophistication, analytics and partnerships to develop solutions. He notes that cat modeling was originally developed around “Bid Data.” What we are seeing is the ability to analyze more granular types of data than in the past. The result is more products in the retail business, or insurance. He see a big change coming in this space for insurers.
Mr. Miller views the involvement of government in cat risk programs as different based on the different markets around the world. In the United States, Swiss Re is involved in areas such as wind pools, flood, and earthquake, where there is not enough capacity in Federal programs. On the retail insurance/transactional side, the company puts effort on individual risk solutions, multiyear solutions, and products that cover gaps around traditional insurance for municipalities.
According to Mr. Miller, so-called Program Business is growing. He attributes this to growth in surplus lines brokers, consolidation of data, and the ability of MGUs and MGAs to offer creative solutions. He sees the brokers’ ability to aggregate and consolidate of multiline data driving growth in Program Business going forward.
For more from the 2015 NAPSLO Convention, visit the WRIN.tv On Demand Library.