French reinsurance company SCOR found opportunities for premium growth at the January 1st 2017 renewals, with the U.S. driving much of its increase despite that market being the most under pressure.
SCOR has been targeting expansion into the U.S. over recent reinsurance renewals, with the way it has historically diversified its book providing an ability for it to grow into some areas such as U.S. catastrophe treaties, where other reinsurers have been forced to pull-back.
Today, SCOR revealed that at the key January renewals it has increased its overall premiums underwritten by 5.4% at constant exchange rates, from EUR 3.0 billion to EUR 3.2 billion.
Both the growth rate achieved and the sources of growth are aligned with the company’s vision and strategy, the reinsurer said today, with the largest source of growth over the period is the United States.
U.S. property and casualty risks have been underrepresented in SCOR’s portfolio, and the reinsurer said that clients have responded positively to its desire to grow that portion of its portfolio in recent renewals.
Victor Peignet, CEO of SCOR Global P&C, commented on the renewals; “We are pleased to deliver well-controlled growth and satisfactory expected profitability in line with “Vision in Action”. We are progressing as planned on our four main strategic development areas: we are finding opportunities in the US in treaties, we are expanding our business with MGAs, we are executing on the Channel Syndicate’s 2017 plan following its approval by Lloyd’s, and SCOR Business Solutions continues to deliver excellent profitability.”
SCOR said that aside from the U.S. growth, its global client relationships helped to provide relative stability in European and Asian renewals and the reinsurer continues to optimise its book based on market conditions.
SCOR also said that as a major reinsurer it has been given preferential signings and private layers by some clients, as the company is welcomed into reinsurance programs where it had perhaps been previously absent.
The reinsurers Alternative Solutions team has also been active, with tailor-made reinsurance arrangements helping to secure even more premium for the group.
Around 65% of SCOR’s the total annual P&C division premiums were up for renewal in January and after the renewal the company reveals that 71% of the P&C treaties written were U.S., while 29% were specialty risks such as credit, surety and U.S. catastrophe risks.
SCOR said that proportional reinsurance business saw relatively stable pricing at the 1st January and that non-proportional business was seen to be more resilient than in previous renewals, which reflects the more stable environment other reinsurers have reported.
As a result SCOR expects only a marginal decline in expected technical profitability and risk-adjusted pricing as compared to January 2016, by 0.3% and 0.6% respectively. As these two key indicators are seen as so stable the company said it reflects broader reinsurance pricing stabilisation in the main markets.