Filed Under:Agent Broker, Commercial Business

R&O Insurance Executives: Cautiously Optimistic

Ongoing economic uncertainty, weak investments and a spate of record-breaking catastrophes made 2011 challenging for most insurers. But executives are hopeful that firming prices, a history of success in selected markets and a little luck could make 2012 the insurance industry’s turnaround year.

Will 2012 be the year the market turns?

Robert Cubbin: While we are seeing some bottoming out and even price hardening in certain specific product lines or market segments, we still do not foresee a turn in the market cycle in the near future. There is still a lot of capacity and strong competition present in the market. One issue we all are watching closely is the industry adoption of the RMS 11 model. Insurers are continuing to stall on the implementation of RMS 11 into their own underwriting models. However, the reinsurers are seeking to charge insurance companies potentially significant rate increases based on the updated U.S. wind model at Jan. 1, 2012. This could have significant impact on potential rate increases across the board. However, we are uncertain at what level the current economy can shoulder this burden.

Will the 2012 election impact the insurance industry? How?

Cubbin: The election may have an impact for a variety of issues, including:

How important has program business become for your company?

Cubbin: As one of the leading program-focused insurers, specialty niche programs continue to be our strong core focus. In recent years, we have diversified our operations via Meadowbrook’s 2008 merger with Century Insurance Group, which brought a strong Excess & Surplus Lines binding and brokerage facility and special risk underwriting expertise to further develop and diversify our operations. We continue to see strong growth opportunities from both program and binding/brokerage operations which are available to our distribution partners.

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