Filed Under:Markets, E&S/Specialty

Part 2 -- 2013 Forecast: Top Trends, Challenges & Opportunities for Carriers & Reinsurers

Top executives offer a cautious forecast

Peter Eastwood, President & CEO, AIG Property Casualty, U.S. and Canada

Certain emerging markets show promise. In Brazil, for example, there is a moderate growth of about 4.5 percent; the country has relatively low penetration rates in insurance and is seeing the emergence of a middle class. The result is more business and more insurance possibilities related to those businesses, with more Commercial Lines and Personal Lines opportunities.

Tim Francis, Cyber Risk Enterprise Cyber Lead, Travelers

Data breaches and other lost data events continue to happen and get a lot of press. A lot of customers and potential insureds are increasingly aware of the rise in cyber activity and also the variety of different insurance options that are available to transfer the risk of Cyber exposure.

Morris Tooker, Executive Vice President, General Re (Berkshire Hathaway's direct reinsurer)

Clearly the evolving regulatory landscape will drive changes for all carriers. The specter of inflation, Cyber risk and changing weather patterns are all to be seriously considered as well. The evolution of the role that capital markets/pension funds play in the reinsurance space will also be something to watch in 2013. The big challenge that needs to be on the industry’s radar in 2013 that we fear may not be is TRIA re-authorization. This backstop is critically important to the industry and risks being lost in the current legislative logjam.

Jack Salzwedel, Chairman and CEO, American Family Insurance

Organic growth will remain difficult in 2013. We’re all hoping the economy picks up to the extent that greater demand for insurance results, but we can’t count on it in our planning. In order to capture a larger piece of the pie, insurers will need to innovate as a means of distinguishing themselves in the marketplace. Mergers and acquisitions are another avenue for growth and may be a popular strategy in 2013.

Ben Walter, CEO, Hiscox USA

In specialty lines, the biggest difference this year may be increased pricing uncertainty. We have seen remarkable disparity in various loss profiles. Some have been relatively sanguine. Others, like Workers’ Comp, have been extremely challenging. But regardless of the outcome, many areas are getting harder to model given the pace of economic and technological change. In 2013, the industry will really grapple with how to price against such dramatic uncertainty.

Brian O’Reilly, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Philadelphia Insurance Cos.

The top opportunity for companies in 2013 is the ability to obtain more rate on their books of business. The Property market in catastrophe zones will continue to push for increases. We have seen some increase in construction, so that dormant market over the last few years may be waking up. We are expanding our E&S division, so we still see growth opportunities in certain underserved markets.

Dennis Kerrigan, Chief Legal Officer, Zurich North America 

In terms of regulations at the federal level, [the biggest challenges are] systemic-risk designation and the continued rollout of the Dodd-Frank bill, determining which regulations have yet to be issued and which designations to be made. We do not fully know what mitigation plans, if any, will be required of those that have been designated [as a systemic risk].

Charles Dangelo, President and CEO, Starr Indemnity & Liability Co.

In 2013 our key opportunities in the U.S. will be adding new products, extending our lines of business and opening new branches. In the coming year we will have added or expanded branches in Miami, Kansas City, Columbus, Ohio and Denver. Despite the slow economic recovery, there are opportunities to expand into Construction and Manufacturing that will pick up next year.

Dick Lavey, Senior Vice President of Field Operations and Marketing, The Hanover

Specialization will continue to represent great opportunity in 2013 for agents and carriers that are more expert in specific industries, and that combine their expertise to offer comprehensive solutions that create value for their customers.

Anand Rao, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ U.S. Insurance Advisory Practice

In the U.S. market the major challenge is the low-interest-rate environment, which in the past two to four years has gone from very anemic to mild. It’s not growing as fast as we want it to or it should be, and that puts a lot of pressure on insurers. They are managing books very tightly on the Commercial side, which puts a lot of pressure on the margins, and retaining customers becomes more important. 

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