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Global reinsurance capital increased 8.0% to $559.0 billion at the half-year point of 2019, compared with year-end 2018, according to the latest Reinsurance Market Report from Willis Re Inc., the reinsurance business of Willis Towers Watson PLC.
Strong investment markets helped drive the industry’s capital growth, the report said.
The capital of the 36 reinsurance companies tracked in the Willis Reinsurance Index constitutes the largest component of reinsurer capital and was up 11% to $440 billion, “principally due to falling bond yields and rising equity markets,” the report said.
The combined ratio for the subset worsened to 94.9% from 93.3% at half-year 2018, the report said, due to higher natural catastrophe losses and deterioration in prior-year natural catastrophe loss estimates.
“Looking behind the headline figures reveals a positive direction of travel for reinsurers so far this year, with modest but important reductions in non-catastrophe combined and expense ratios,” James Kent, global CEO for Willis Re, said in a statement issued with the report.
Capital provided through insurance-linked securities will likely hit a record high in 2018 and close in on $100 billion, Hannover Re SE said Wednesday.