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Property/casualty reinsurers reported 11.3% growth in net premiums written to $50.42 billion for the first half of 2019, Fitch Ratings Inc. said Monday.
Fitch’s Global Reinsurers: Mid-Year 2019 Financial Results report, however, showed the reinsurers’ aggregate combined ratio slipping to 94.6% from 92.7% in the first half of 2018.
Global reinsurance catastrophe losses fell to $15 billion in first half of 2019 from $23 billion in first half of 2018 and were below the $31 billion 10-year average for the first half, Fitch said.
Insurance-linked security funds continued to bring in capital to the reinsurance sector, “but at a more measured pace than in 2018,” Fitch said.
Rate increases should continue through the January 2020 renewal cycle, Fitch said. “A capacity squeeze in the retrocession market, driven by the costliest successive years on record of catastrophe losses in 2017 and 2018, has pushed reinsurance rates higher at each subsequent renewal period in 2019,” Fitch said
“Fitch expects continued reinsurance rate increases into 2020 at the January renewals as the market remains disrupted and overall pricing remains inadequate and well below recent risk-adjusted levels,” the report said.
“Even with the costliest successive years on record of catastrophe losses in 2017 and 2018, overall pricing remains inadequate and well below recent risk-adjusted levels,” Brian Schneider, Chicago-based senior director for reinsurance at Fitch, said in a statement issued with the report.
Net premiums written for a group of 17 U.S. property/casualty reinsurers dropped to $13.67 billion during the three months ended March 31 compared with $15.37 billion for the same period in 2018, the Reinsurance Association of America said Thursday.