Reinsurance News

AXIS lost <$10m of desired renewals after property cat exit: Benchimol

27th January 2023 - Author: Matt Sheehan

AXIS Capital CEO Albert Benchimol has reported that his company feels “encouraged” by the fact it lost less than $10 million of desired renewals following its exits from property and property catastrophe reinsurance business.

albert-benchimol-axis“In the end, we successfully balanced substantially all the non-property-related renewals that met our thresholds,” he said during a recent Q4 earnings call.

“We’re encouraged these statistics indicate that our decision to exit the reinsurance property and casualty markets did not materially impact our ability to access and retain the business that we wanted.”

AXIS reported a lower net income of $41 million for the fourth quarter of 2022 and a decline to $193 million for the full-year, while the combined ratio hit 94.1% and 95.8% for the respective periods.

The company’s performance had been boosted in prior quarters last year after efforts to re-adjust its portfolio by reducing its catastrophe footprint, with a 45% reduction in catastrophe lines premium seen during Q1.

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“For AXIS Re, notwithstanding the finalization of our exit from property and property catastrophe markets mid-year as we focus the business on specialty reinsurance, our market presence remains strong and relevant as indicated by recent renewal activity,” Benchimol said, commenting on the Q4 results.

“I’m pleased to report that we performed very well at the 1/1 renewals. We maintained our disciplined underwriting approach and standards, exited non-target business, all the while remaining close to our customers and brokers.”

AXIS estimates a 90% retention ratio for its addressable non-property-related renewals, as well as 12.5% rate increases, and 7% new business.

More than half of this new business is from targeted credit and surety, cyber and A&H lines, the company reports, with mid-single-digits achieved overall for the renewed part of the portfolio.

“Our performance during the 1/1 renewal speaks to the value that AXIS Re brings to the market through the knowledge and expertise of our underwriters and the deep relationships that we share with our customers and brokers,” Benchimol stated.

“We operate in a competitive environment for sure and the year is only beginning. But I believe that our performance in recent renewals demonstrates that we have a strong focused reinsurance business within a broad specialty underwriting company.”

“Importantly, we are in the markets where we want to be and where we have strong positioning that allows us to take advantage of what we expect will be continued favourable conditions for the foreseeable future, buoyed by rising demand for specialty coverage.”

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