Frank Nutter, President of the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA), says the reinsurance market has not changed much in previous years. “Capacity exceeds demand…It’s a buyer’s market.” Reinsurance brokers report that the “rate threshold” has not been reached as of January, and probably won’t be for the foreseeable future. He believes that even a major catastrophe probably would not likely affect the reinsurance market.
Mr. Nutter says reinsurers are restricted in their ability to deploy capital in new lines or opportunities by regulators’ continued conservatism when it comes to capital requirements. Tax reform will be the other big regulatory issue for reinsurers in 2017. While the industry is likely to be “in the barrel” of the administration’s sites when it looks at tax reform, Mr. Nutter expects rate reductions and tax restructuring to be on the agenda this year.
Reinsurers tend to be on the cutting edge of technological advances in the industry. He advises insurers to engage reinsurers and reinsurance brokers to discuss investments and other opportunities in the insurtech space. He also believes insurers should be speaking with reinsurers, who are “flush with capital”, to discuss new lines of business, growth opportunities, and even the management of the overall structure.