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Ukraine invasion will hit global insurance industry hard: Report

Posted On: Feb. 28, 2022 9:33 AM CST


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have a substantial impact on the global insurance industry in the near- to midterm and could drive cyber rates higher in the already-hardening market, ratings agency A.M. Best Co. said in a report issued late Friday.

An escalating conflict could increase the risk of a systemic cyberattack, causing substantial losses and heightened risk perceptions, Oldwick, New Jersey-based Best said in the report.

The economic effect of sanctions, such as a material increase in commodity prices, could add to inflationary pressures, challenging efforts by global central banks and the U.S. Federal Reserve to contain inflation, Best said.

“Further sanctions may impact the ability of international insurers and reinsurers to underwrite Russian risks or make it more difficult for them to service claims on existing policies,” Anna Sheremeteva, financial analyst at Best, said in a statement.

“Most affected would be those writing large energy and infrastructure risks, such as London Market insurers, and international reinsurers,” Ms. Sheremeteva said.

There may also be recovery implications for foreign insurers that have reinsurance with Russian insurers and reinsurers, according to the report.

The invasion has had a negative impact on stock markets worldwide and continued volatility remains likely, Best said.

As bond spreads widen and equity markets become more volatile, insurers’ balance sheets will be pressured. “Carriers that depend on hedging to manage their exposures could experience high hedging costs,” Best said.