Bermuda domiciled insurer and reinsurer, AXIS Capital significantly increased its exposure in Japan at the April 1st renewals, under “quite attractive terms.”
Speaking during the re/insurer’s first-quarter 2019 earnings call, AXIS Capital President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Albert Benchimol, noted an “attractive Japanese market” at the most recent renewals, with loss-affected treaties up by as much as 30%.
The impacts of typhoons Jebi and Trami in 2018 resulted in substantial windstorm losses for the Japanese market. AXIS reported last week that its Q1 2019 results were negatively impacted by Japanese typhoon loss creep. But despite this, attractive rates has driven the firm to increase its exposure in the region.
“Japan suffered substantial windstorm losses last year and treaties with this perils were up as much as 30%. Quake treaties, which have generally been loss free since the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, were generally flat at satisfactory terms.
“There was more coverage purchased by Japanese accounts. Under these conditions, we significantly upgraded our standing in the Japanese market, and nearly doubled our premiums of this renewal at quite attractive terms,” said Benchimol.
AXIS Re, the firm’s reinsurance arm, “performed well” at the recent renewals, which accounts for less than 10% of the company’s annual reinsurance volume. The President and CEO explained that AXIS Re grew “where it made sense,” but also pulled back from renewing business where terms failed to meet requirements.
“Overall, we achieved 5% increase in aggregate gross written premiums over expiring with an increase in price profits.
“Across both insurance and reinsurance, we are encouraged by recent improvements, but it will take more than five quarters of mid-single digit increases to offset the compound reductions experienced by the markets over the past several years,” said Benchimol.