Daily Willis Review | 9th April 2018

2018 Atlantic hurricane season to be above-average: Colorado State University
Analysts at Colorado State University (CSU) have predicted that the Atlantic hurricane season is to be “slightly above-average” in 2018.

The researchers have cited a low likelihood of a significant El Niño as a primary factor, following a weak La Niña this past winter.

Currently, CSU has predicted 14 named storms, of which seven are expected to become hurricanes, and three to reach major hurricane strength.

The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team anticipate that 2018 hurricane activity will be about 135% of the average season, compared to 2017’s hurricane activity which was about 245% of the average season.

The report also includes the probability of major hurricanes making landfall; 63% for the entire U.S. coastline, 39% for the U.S. East Coast, including Florida, 38% for the Gulf Coast and 52% for the Caribbean.

CSU has also predicted there will be 70 named storm days, 30 hurricane days and seven major hurricanes days.

Negative outlook for London market: Fitch
Fitch Ratings has placed a negative outlook on the London Market insurance and reinsurance sector for 2018, due to underwriting pressure, Reinsurance News, has reported.

According to the report, the high cost of acquisition and administration have affected underwriting performance, and while expense ratios remain at 40%, the trend is now broadly flat year-on-year.

Most London market insurers and reinsurers posted underwriting losses in 2017, with Lloyd’s reporting net catastrophe claims of £4.5 billion ($6.3 billion) in 2017.

The exceptions to the pattern were Beazley and Hiscox who reported combined ratios of under 100, due to the companies’ greater focus on non-catastrophe-exposed specialty lines of business.

Fitch believes that modernisation and cost-effectiveness should now become key priorities for London market insurers and reinsurers, the report said.

XL Catlin partners with Praedicat for changing liability insurance needs
XL Catlin has enlisted the help of InsureTech analytics company, Praedicat, to help address clients changing liability insurance needs.

The multi-year agreement will allow XL Catlin access to Praedicat’s latency risk model and mass litigation scenarios, as well as its software on emerging risks called CoMeta, and Oortfolio, its portfolio modeling software.

Nancy Bewlay, Global Casualty Chief Underwriting Officer, said: “XL Catlin is committed to Insuretech innovation, to market leadership in data and analytics for underwriting, and to state-of-the-art enterprise risk management.”

“Working with Praedicat allows us to advance all three goals.”

David Brooks, XL Catlin’s Global Head of ERM, Man-Made Perils, said: “XL Catlin has developed a broad range of risk scenarios for property and casualty.

“The hardest area to build them and keep them realistic is in liability where new technologies are emerging, and the world is always changing. We were impressed with Praedicat’s science-based approach to the problem.”

Markel strengthens trade credit, political risk and surety business
Market International has made a series of promotions in its trade credit, political risk and surety business.

Adrian Jones assumes the role of Head of Strategic Development for Asia and the Middle East, alongside his existing position as Senior Underwriter.

Leroy Almeida has been appointed Head of the Middle East Operation, a role which now incorporates marine and directors’ and officers’ product lines.

Simon Moon assumes the role of Head of Risk Underwriting and Carl Titterton, Head of Commercial Underwriting for the trade credit operation.

Nicola Marriage becomes Head of Political Risk, Damian Manning remains Head of Surety and Abhishek Chhajer continues to lead the trade credit operation in the Asia Pacific region.

Philip Amlot is appointed Head of Trade Credit and Political Risk, Americas and Arjan Van de Wall becomes Global Development Director.

Ewa Rose, Managing Director of the Division, said: “Since the launch of the business in 2010, we have expanded our geographic reach across the U.S., Canada, Singapore and Dubai in addition to the London presence and have added political risk and surety product lines to the trade credit operation.”