Re/insurers should expect to be billed for insured losses of around $52.6 billion for the first quarter of this year. That compares to a total of $40.b billion for the whole of 2010 according to a report from Aon Benfield. The latest edition of their Fac Quarterly report really brings home the scale of losses that the market will be responsible for paying after a disastrous Q1.
This graph (below) from the report really shows how major the events of Q1 2011 have been in comparison to 2010. With losses of that magnitude the market has to be impacted and pricing, while perhaps not rising across the board, is bound to rise in certain areas and lines of business. 2011 is heading to be an expensive year for re/insurers who will be hoping for some respite before hurricane season begins.
There is a high probability that the final insured loss figure for Q1 will be higher than the $52.6 billion Aon Benfield quote as there remains so much uncertainty around final losses from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Losses are still being tallied and there is the knock on claims from contingent business interruption to factor into the Q1 figure too (although some may slip into Q2 losses).