Hannover Re expects rising catastrophe reinsurance prices in Germany

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For the second year running, Hannover Re’s German subsidiary E+S Rückversicherung AG has forecast rising reinsurance prices at the renewals, but this year it’s down to the significant catastrophe losses suffered.

hannover-re-signA year ago, Hannover Re’s subsidiary said that German reinsurance rates would rise at the January 2021 renewals, but that was seen as down to capacity and global market conditions, as well as COVID-19 and low interest rates.

There were some rises, but it was really only in pockets through the 2021 renewals, where as for the January 2022 contract signings, Hannover Re is expecting broader firming driven by natural catastrophe losses.

E+S Rück said it, “expects higher prices – in some areas markedly so – and improved conditions in property and casualty reinsurance on the German market following the devastating flood damage in the summer.”

Dr. Michael Pickel, Chief Executive Officer of E+S Rück further explained, “After the terrible severe weather events of June and July, 2021 will go down as one of the costliest years ever for the German market. We extend our sympathies to everyone who has been and continues to be impacted by the disastrous flooding. As a reinsurer, we are aware of our responsibility and will play our part in overcoming the damage.

“It is our expectation that many insurers will further expand their reinsurance protection in the wake of these latest losses. Following on from the considerable strains incurred last year from the Covid-19 pandemic, the recent bad weather losses, low interest rates and price rises in the construction industry will lead to an appreciable increase in reinsurance prices.”

Appreciable adjustments are expected to both prices and conditions at the renewals, with catastrophe reinsurance covers expected to see the steepest increases in price.

Motor insurance claims due to hail and flooding have driven that side of the business to deliver worse results compared to the prior year, meaning “we do not see any room for price cuts in original business or in the reinsurance market.”

While 2021 has been one of the most damaging years ever for the German insurance and reinsurance industry, the pandemic is expected to also have influence at the January 2022 renewal season.

E+S Rück said that, “Losses and potential losses for programmes connected with Covid-19 could often be priced only minimally into the previous renewals because it was not yet possible to definitively resolve the scale of pandemic losses and the question of coverage under the reinsurance treaties. The pandemic-related strains for some customer relationships have increased further, which means that in these cases additional adjustments will be needed for the reinsurance treaties in the 2022 renewals.”

Other issues include, higher claims frequency in industrial losses over the year, as well as silent cyber and how that is considered in reinsurance treaties.

The company said, “Overall, E+S Rück considers higher prices in the reinsurance market for commercial and industrial risks to be necessary, especially under loss-impacted programmes. On the conditions side, too, adjustments are needed for pandemic-related and cyber risks if they have not already been implemented.”

“Just as we stood shoulder to shoulder with our customers and their insureds during the pandemic, we continue to do this in the aftermath of this summer’s devastating flood disasters,” Dr. Michael Pickel commented.

“This year, as in the past, we shall work with our customers to find solutions that recognise our entire business relationship, whether it be through traditional reinsurance, tailor-made solutions or the development of innovative coverage concepts. With this in mind, I look to the current renewals with confidence.”

At a media briefing held in Baden Baden today, E+S Rück said that double-digit increases are anticipated for German excess-of-loss reinsurance renewals and that while there will be some differentiation, even non-loss affected treaties are expected to see rate increases.

They also noted that there could be some increase in buying of reinsurance as well, as some carriers may look to increase their towers after recent loss activity.

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