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European runoff market tops $269 billion


LONDON—PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P. has estimated the size of the European runoff market at €204 billion ($269.44 billion).

In a survey released in conjunction with the Association of Run-off Companies, PwC found that the largest markets for discontinued business were Germany and Switzerland, with exposures of €84 billion ($110.96 billion) or 41% of the market.

The United Kingdom and Ireland were the next largest markets for discontinued business, with exposures of €57 billion ($75.28 billion), followed by France and Benelux with exposures of €31 billion ($40.95 billion).

PwC also found that schemes of arrangement were becoming more popular as a way of winding-up solvent business in runoff. According to the study, of the 80 solvent schemes of arrangement implemented to date, some 52% were for U.K. business and 33% for the rest of Europe.

In the report, PwC said that it was evident that the amount of business known to be in runoff across the European insurance market is just the tip of the iceberg. "In continental Europe, almost all discontinued business is managed as part of an ongoing business and so the true extent of, and the costs associated with, legacy businesses are often unknown," said Dan Schwarzmann, partner in the solutions for discontinued insurance business at PricewaterhouseCoopers.