Arch seeks $665m of reinsurance from Bellemeade Re 2021-1 mortgage ILS

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Arch Capital Group, the Bermuda headquartered specialty insurance and reinsurance player, is back in the capital markets in search of more mortgage reinsurance protection, with a large, up to $665 million Bellemeade Re 2021-1 Ltd. mortgage insurance-linked securities (ILS) issuance.

arch-capital-logoThe issuance features six tranches of mortgage insurance-linked notes which are being offered to investors and the proceeds set to be used for collateralizing underlying mortgage reinsurance agreements between Bermuda based special purpose insurer (SPI) Bellemeade Re 2021-1 Ltd. and Arch’s mortgage insurer entities Arch Mortgage Insurance Company (AMIC) and United Guaranty Residential Insurance Company (UGRIC).

At $665 million, this issuance of mortgage ILS notes is not Arch’s largest mortgage ILS sponsorship, but if the target is hit this will be the biggest issuance seen in the mortgage insurance-linked securities (ILS) market since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Arch remains the most prolific sponsor of mortgage ILS, using a catastrophe bond like structure to secure mortgage reinsurance with the backing of capital market investors.

For Arch, this Bellemeade Re 2021-1 mortgage ILS deal will be the re/insurers thirteenth mortgage ILS under the Bellemeade Re program of deals.

Across the twelve mortgage ILS Arch has already sponsored, the company has secured almost $5.8 billion of collateralized reinsurance from the capital markets using ILS.

Once this latest Bellemeade issuance is completed, Arch will have secured over $6.4 billion of mortgage reinsurance through the use of the catastrophe bond like structures.

The notes issued will all be exposed to the risk of losses Arch’s mortgage insurer entities pay to settle claims on an underlying pool of mortgage insurance policies.

DBRS Morningstar explained the subject business:

“As of the cut-off date, the pool of insured mortgage loans consists of 131,501 fully amortizing first-lien fixed- and variable-rate mortgages. They all have been underwritten to a full documentation standard, have original loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) less than or equal to 100%, and have never been reported to the ceding insurer as 60 or more days delinquent. As of the Cut-Off Date, these loans have not been reported to be in payment forbearance plan. The mortgage loans have MI policies effective on or after January 2019. On March 1, 2020, a new master policy was introduced to conform to government-sponsored enterprises’ (GSEs’) revised rescission relief principles under the Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements (PMIERs) guidelines (see the Representations and Warranties section in the related Presale Report for more detail). Approximately 99.3% of the mortgage loans were originated under the new master policy.”

Bellemeade Re 2021-1 Ltd. will issue the six tranches of mortgage insurance-linked notes and enter into a reinsurance agreement with the ceding insurers, Arch Mortgage Insurance Company and United Guaranty Residential Insurance Company.

The two ceding insurers will get reinsurance protection for the funded portion of mortgage insurance losses, in exchange for which they will make premium payments related to the underlying insured mortgage loans to the issuer, which in turn makes coupon payments to the investors.

Interestingly, this Bellemeade Re 2021-1 mortgage ILS issuance is the first transaction where the coupon rates are based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), instead of Libor which previous mortgage ILS deals had been pegged to.

With Libor being retired as a benchmark it’s expected many more securitizations will shift to using SOFR.

The deal is structured into tranches as per the below, with their respective ratings alongside:

  • $188.8 million Class M-1A, rated BBB (high) (sf) by DBRS Morningstar, A1 (sf) by Moody’s.
  • $118.2 million Class M-1B, rated BBB (sf) by DBRS Morningstar, A3 (sf)  by Moody’s.
  • $138.6 million Class M-1C, rated Baa3 (sf) by Moody’s.
  • $112 million Class M-2, rated Ba3 (sf) by Moody’s.
  • $21.3 million Class B-1, rated B3 (sf) by Moody’s.
  • $85.8 million Class B-2, unrated.

As losses would be applied to the underlying mortgage insurance policies and trigger these notes after eroding all retention, the reinsurance would pay out, causing principal losses, from the B-2 tranche upwards.

The B-2 notes cover 100% of losses across a layer of the reinsurance, while each tranche above covers a progressively smaller percentage, up to the M-1A notes which cover 80% of losses across a $235.9 million layer of mortgage reinsurance protection.

You can read all about this new Bellemeade Re 2021-1 Ltd. mortgage insurance-linked securities (ILS) transaction from Arch Capital and every mortgage ILS deal ever issued in the Artemis Deal Directory.

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