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Insurance-linked securities hit new high

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Record second-quarter property/casualty issuance of insurance-linked securities combined with a strong first quarter to propel the market to a new yearly high in 2017, according to a new report released Friday by Aon Benfield Securities.

Second-quarter issuance of $6.38 billion of limit across 20 transactions added to the $2.17 billion of first-quarter issuance to reach $8.55 billion, passing 2007’s $8.38 billion, according to Aon Benfield’s “Insurance Linked Securities: Q2 2017 Update.”

This year’s record second quarter was $1.89 billion higher than the previous record second quarter of $4.49 billion, set in the second quarter of 2014. The $2.17 billion of catastrophe bond limit placed in the first quarter of 2017 was second to the $2.22 billion placed in the first quarter of 2016.

Outstanding catastrophe bond limit reached of $26.12 billion as was also a record high for the market, the report said.

Much of the record issuance came from returning/repeat sponsors, including the third-largest catastrophe bind ever, the $1.25 billion Kilimanjaro II Re from Everest Re Group Ltd. The Series 2017-1 notes provide annual aggregate protection against U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada weighted industry insured losses for a four-year term, while the Series 2017-2 give the same cover for a five-year term. Covered perils are named storm events and earthquake events, the report said.

Six public entities came to market, according to the report, including two repeat sponsors: Citizens Property Insurance Corp. of Florida, with its $300 million Everglades Re covering Florida hurricanes; and The New York Metroploitan Transit Authority, with its $1.25 million MetroCat bond covering storm surge when caused by New York hurricanes and earthquakes. A previous issue of Everglade Re was the largest-ever catastrophe bond at $1.5 billion. This is the fifth issue for Florida Citizens, the report said.

“During the second quarter we saw a large amount of maturing limit being renewed, which contributed to the record-breaking issuance figures. However, there was still a significant expansion in the overall market, as a result of new sponsors, favorable pricing, and the ability of alternative capital to provide high levels of market capacity,” Paul Schultz, CEO of Aon Securities, said in the statement.