TWIA committee votes to change reinsurance broker to Willis Re

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The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA’s) Actuarial & Underwriting Committee met yesterday to review proposals for reinsurance broking services and has voted to recommend the TWIA Board approve a change to Willis Re, which also has ramifications for the issuance of its catastrophe bonds.

twia-texas-windstorm-insurance-logoGuy Carpenter has been the reinsurance broker of choice at TWIA for some years now and its capital markets unit GC Securities has been responsible for structuring and bookrunning TWIA’s successful Alamo Re catastrophe bond program issuances.

But that could all be about to change, as the Committee yesterday made the decision to recommend to the Board that TWIA contract with Willis Re for reinsurance brokerage.

Guy Carpenter had also submitted a response to TWIA’s reinsurance broking RFP and both its and Willis Re’s submissions included information on their respective capital markets and catastrophe bond services.

TWIA has been in the catastrophe bond market every year since 2014 with an Alamo Re issuance, all of which have been brought to market with the assistance of GC Securities and the reinsurance brokers at Guy Carpenter.

The overall TWIA reinsurance program is $1.93 billion in size this year, having been renewed in June and now consists of 57% catastrophe bonds, demonstrating the importance of the insurance-linked securities (ILS) market to the residual market insurer.

It seems change is in the air at TWIA, as the Committee also reviewed proposals for catastrophe modelling services and in this case has selected Aon to put forwards to its Board.

The Board will meet in December to consider the change, but it seems likely the reinsurance broking will now switch to Willis Re, with the Committee having recommended that move.

If Willis Re does win the account, it will be a timely and positive move for the company with its impending acquisition by AJG and the failed process undergone with Aon’s attempted acquisition of parent Willis Towers Watson (WTW) having seen it lose some business and key broking staff over the last couple of years.

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