Reinsurance News

Positive rate momentum evident across all core lines: Hamilton CEO Albo

29th September 2020 - Author: Luke Gallin

Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer, Hamilton Insurance Group, is witnessing rate increases across all of its core lines of business and expects this more favourable trend to persist into 2021, according to the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pina Albo.

Reinsurance News recently hosted a webinar partnered with sister publication, Artemis and in association with our partner Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA). The session explored both the traditional reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) market in 2021 amid a global pandemic.

Speakers included Pina Albo, CEO, Hamilton Insurance Group; Niklaus Hilti, CEO & CIO Credit Suisse Insurance Linked Strategies; Peter DiFiore, Managing Director, Neuberger Berman; and Peter Giacone, Managing Director, Global Head of Insurance, KBRA.

On the back of a prolonged softened market, conditions in the global reinsurance sector began to trend more favourably at the start of this year.

Of course, the arrival of a global pandemic in the first-quarter and the resulting uncertainty, volatility and economic stress has had an impact on all industries. And while reinsurers were forced to operate remotely and navigate the mid-year renewals without their usual face-to-face meetings, for the most part, it’s been business as usual.

As evidenced by Q1 and Q2 company results, insurers and reinsurers experienced pandemic-related shocks on both the liability and asset side of the balance sheet, and while financial markets recovered sharply, the claims load has been substantial for some.

But despite the negative impact of COVID-19, the pandemic, alongside some other recent catastrophe events, has also served to exacerbate market firming.

“The good news for us is, we’re seeing rate increases across all of the lines that are core to us,” said Albo. “So, that is great. We can deploy that expertise and grow thoughtfully. And, we also see some areas that could be more opportunistic.”

Commenting on rate momentum and the renewals more broadly, Albo said: “I don’t think that we are at historic all-time highs just yet, but I do think it’s trending more favourably. We’re seeing a quarter per quarter trend, both on the insurance and the reinsurance side, trending in the right direction. And, we think that there are factors there that will keep this momentum going into 2021 and beyond, quite frankly.”

She continued to note that the foundations are strong for a more sustainable rate environment trend, and one that extends beyond just property, explaining that this is being witnessed multi-line and multi-class.

And, while rate is clearly important and often the main focus, Albo told the audience that the other perhaps even more important aspect, is terms and conditions.

“In the course of the soft market, wordings have been broadened, hours clauses get extended. And, what we’re now seeing, is in addition to the rates going the right way, people going back and looking at wording and saying, ‘well hang on a second, let’s pare this back, let’s look again at the definition of loss’. And that is also a very, very important aspect of what we’re seeing right now,” Albo said.

The discussion, which is available for the next month, can be viewed here.

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