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Reinsurance is insurance that an insurance company purchases from another insurance company to insulate itself (at least in part) from the risk of a major claims event. With reinsurance, the company passes on ("cedes") some part of its own insurance liabilities to the other insurance company. The company that purchases the reinsurance policy is called a "ceding company" or "cedent" or "cedant" under most arrangements. The company issuing the reinsurance policy is referred simply as the "reinsurer". In the classic case, reinsurance allows insurance companies to remain solvent after major claims events, such as major disasters like hurricanes and wildfires. In addition to its basic role in risk management, reinsurance is sometimes used to reduce the ceding company's capital requirements, or for tax mitigation or other purposes.
Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss.
Solvency, in finance or business, is the degree to which the current liabilities of an individual or entity exceed the current asset of that individual or entity. Solvency can also be described as the ability of a corporation to meet its long-term fixed expenses and to accomplish long-term expansion and growth. This is best measured using the net liquid balance (NLB) formula. In this formula solvency is calculated by adding cash and cash equivalents to short-term investments, then subtracting notes payable.
Risk management is the identification, evaluation, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities.
A company that purchases reinsurance pays a premium to the reinsurance company, who in exchange would pay a share of the claims incurred by the purchasing company. The reinsurer may be either a specialist reinsurance company, which only undertakes reinsurance business, or another insurance company. Insurance companies that accept reinsurance refer to the business as 'assumed reinsurance'.
There are two basic methods of reinsurance:
There are two main types of treaty reinsurance, proportional and non-proportional, which are detailed below. Under proportional reinsurance, the reinsurer's share of the risk is defined for each separate policy, while under non-proportional reinsurance the reinsurer's liability is based on the aggregate claims incurred by the ceding office. In the past 30 years there has been a major shift from proportional to non-proportional reinsurance in the property and casualty fields.
Property insurance provides protection against most risks to property, such as fire, theft and some weather damage. This includes specialized forms of insurance such as fire insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance, home insurance, or boiler insurance. Property is insured in two main ways—open perils and named perils.
Casualty insurance is a problematically defined term which broadly encompasses insurance not directly concerned with life insurance, health insurance, or property insurance.
Almost all insurance companies have a reinsurance program. The ultimate goal of that program is to reduce their exposure to loss by passing part of the risk of loss to a reinsurer or a group of reinsurers.
With reinsurance, the insurer can issue policies with higher limits than would otherwise be allowed, thus being able to take on more risk because some of that risk is now transferred to the re-insurer.
Reinsurance can make an insurance company's results more predictable by absorbing large losses. This is likely to reduce the amount of capital needed to provide coverage. The risks are spread, with the reinsurer or reinsurers bearing some of the loss incurred by the insurance company. The income smoothing arises because the losses of the cedant are limited. This fosters stability in claim payouts and caps indemnification costs.
In economics, capital consists of assets that can enhance one's power to perform economically useful work. For example, in a fundamental sense a stone or an arrow is capital for a caveman who can use it as a hunting instrument, while roads are capital for inhabitants of a city.
Proportional Treaties (or "pro-rata" treaties) provide the cedent with "surplus relief"; surplus relief being the capacity to write more business and/or at larger limits.
The insurance company may be motivated by arbitrage in purchasing reinsurance coverage at a lower rate than they charge the insured for the underlying risk, whatever the class of insurance.
In economics and finance, arbitrage is the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets: striking a combination of matching deals that capitalize upon the imbalance, the profit being the difference between the market prices at which the unit is traded. When used by academics, an arbitrage is a transaction that involves no negative cash flow at any probabilistic or temporal state and a positive cash flow in at least one state; in simple terms, it is the possibility of a risk-free profit after transaction costs. For example, an arbitrage opportunity is present when there is the opportunity to instantaneously buy something for a low price and sell it for a higher price.
In general, the reinsurer may be able to cover the risk at a lower premium than the insurer because:
In microeconomics, economies of scale are the cost advantages that enterprises obtain due to their scale of operation, with cost per unit of output decreasing with increasing scale. At the basis of economies of scale there may be technical, statistical, organizational or related factors to the degree of market control.
An actuarial reserve is a liability equal to the actuarial present value of the future cash flows of a contingent event. In the insurance context an actuarial reserve is the present value of the future cash flows of an insurance policy and the total liability of the insurer is the sum of the actuarial reserves for every individual policy. Regulated insurers are required to keep offsetting assets to pay off this future liability.
The insurance company may want to avail itself of the expertise of a reinsurer, or the reinsurer's ability to set an appropriate premium, in regard to a specific (specialised) risk. The reinsurer will also wish to apply this expertise to the underwriting in order to protect their own interests. Thie is especially the case in Facultative Reinsurance.
By choosing a particular type of reinsurance method, the insurance company may be able to create a more balanced and homogeneous portfolio of insured risks. This would make its results more predictable on a net basis (i.e. allowing for the reinsurance). This is usually one of the objectives of reinsurance arrangements for the insurance companies.
Under proportional reinsurance, one or more reinsurers take a stated percentage share of each policy that an insurer issues ("writes"). The reinsurer will then receive that stated percentage of the premiums and will pay the stated percentage of claims. In addition, the reinsurer will allow a "ceding commission" to the insurer to cover the costs incurred by the ceding insurer (mainly acquisition and administration, as well as the expected profit that the cedant is giving up).
The arrangement may be "quota share" or "surplus reinsurance" (also known as surplus of line or variable quota share treaty) or a combination of the two. Under a quota share arrangement, a fixed percentage (say 75%) of each insurance policy is reinsured. Under a surplus share arrangement, the ceding company decides on a "retention limit": say $100,000. The ceding company retains the full amount of each risk, up to a maximum of $100,000 per policy or per risk, and the excess over this retention limit is reinsured.
The ceding company may seek a quota share arrangement for several reasons. First, it may not have sufficient capital to prudently retain all of the business that it can sell. For example, it may only be able to offer a total of $100 million in coverage, but by reinsuring 75% of it, it can sell four times as much, and retain some of the profits on the additional business via the ceding commission.
The ceding company may seek surplus reinsurance to limit the losses it might incur from a small number of large claims as a result of random fluctuations in experience. In a 9 line surplus treaty the reinsurer would then accept up to $900,000 (9 lines). So if the insurance company issues a policy for $100,000, they would keep all of the premiums and losses from that policy. If they issue a $200,000 policy, they would give (cede) half of the premiums and losses to the reinsurer (1 line each). The maximum automatic underwriting capacity of the cedant would be $1,000,000 in this example. Any policy larger than this would require facultative reinsurance.
Under non-proportional reinsurance the reinsurer only pays out if the total claims suffered by the insurer in a given period exceed a stated amount, which is called the "retention" or "priority". For instance the insurer may be prepared to accept a total loss up to $1 million, and purchases a layer of reinsurance of $4 million in excess of this $1 million. If a loss of $3 million were then to occur, the insurer would bear $1 million of the loss and would recover $2 million from its reinsurer. In this example, the insurer also retains any excess of loss over $5 million unless it has purchased a further excess layer of reinsurance.
The main forms of non-proportional reinsurance are excess of loss and stop loss .
Excess of loss reinsurance can have three forms - "Per Risk XL" (Working XL), "Per Occurrence or Per Event XL" (Catastrophe or Cat XL), and "Aggregate XL".
In per risk, the cedant's insurance policy limits are greater than the reinsurance retention. For example, an insurance company might insure commercial property risks with policy limits up to $10 million, and then buy per risk reinsurance of $5 million in excess of $5 million. In this case a loss of $6 million on that policy will result in the recovery of $1 million from the reinsurer. These contracts usually contain event limits to prevent their misuse as a substitute for Catastrophe XLs.
In catastrophe excess of loss, the cedant's retention is usually a multiple of the underlying policy limits, and the reinsurance contract usually contains a two risk warranty (i.e. they are designed to protect the cedant against catastrophic events that involve more than one policy, usually very many policies). For example, an insurance company issues homeowners' policies with limits of up to $500,000 and then buys catastrophe reinsurance of $22,000,000 in excess of $3,000,000. In that case, the insurance company would only recover from reinsurers in the event of multiple policy losses in one event (e.g., hurricane, earthquake, flood).
Aggregate XL affords a frequency protection to the reinsured. For instance if the company retains $1 million net any one vessel, $5 million annual aggregate limit in excess of $5m annual aggregate deductible, the cover would equate to 5 total losses (or more partial losses) in excess of 5 total losses (or more partial losses). Aggregate covers can also be linked to the cedant's gross premium income during a 12-month period, with limit and deductible expressed as percentages and amounts. Such covers are then known as "stop loss" contracts.
A basis under which reinsurance is provided for claims arising from policies commencing during the period to which the reinsurance relates. The insurer knows there is coverage during the whole policy period even if claims are only discovered or made later on.
All claims from cedant underlying policies incepting during the period of the reinsurance contract are covered even if they occur after the expiration date of the reinsurance contract. Any claims from cedant underlying policies incepting outside the period of the reinsurance contract are not covered even if they occur during the period of the reinsurance contract.
A Reinsurance treaty under which all claims occurring during the period of the contract, irrespective of when the underlying policies incepted, are covered. Any losses occurring after the contract expiration date are not covered.
As opposed to claims-made or risks attaching contracts. Insurance coverage is provided for losses occurring in the defined period. This is the usual basis of cover for short tail business.
A policy which covers all claims reported to an insurer within the policy period irrespective of when they occurred.
Most of the above examples concern reinsurance contracts that cover more than one policy (treaty). Reinsurance can also be purchased on a per policy basis, in which case it is known as facultative reinsurance. Facultative reinsurance can be written on either a quota share or excess of loss basis. Facultative reinsurance contracts are commonly memorialized in relatively brief contracts known as facultative certificates and often are used for large or unusual risks that do not fit within standard reinsurance treaties due to their exclusions. The term of a facultative agreement coincides with the term of the policy. Facultative reinsurance is usually purchased by the insurance underwriter who underwrote the original insurance policy, whereas treaty reinsurance is typically purchased by a senior executive at the insurance company.
The reinsurer's liability will usually cover the whole lifetime of the original insurance, once it is written. However the question arises of when either party can choose to cease the reinsurance in respect of future new business. Reinsurance treaties can either be written on a "continuous" or "term" basis. A continuous contract has no predetermined end date, but generally either party can give 90 days notice to cancel or amend the treaty for new business. A term agreement has a built-in expiration date. It is common for insurers and reinsurers to have long-term relationships that span many years. Reinsurance treaties are typically longer documents than facultative certificates, containing many of their own terms that are distinct from the terms of the direct insurance policies that they reinsure. However, even most reinsurance treaties are relatively short documents considering the number and variety of risks and lines of business that the treaties reinsure and the dollars involved in the transactions. They rely heavily on industry practice. There are not "standard" reinsurance contracts. However, many reinsurance contracts do include some commonly used provisions and provisions imbued[ clarification needed ] with considerable industry common and practice.
Sometimes insurance companies wish to offer insurance in jurisdictions where they are not licensed, or where it considers that local regulations are too onerous: for example, an insurer may wish to offer an insurance programme to a multinational company, to cover property and liability risks in many countries around the world. In such situations, the insurance company may find a local insurance company which is authorised in the relevant country, arrange for the local insurer to issue an insurance policy covering the risks in that country, and enter into a reinsurance contract with the local insurer to transfer the risks to itself. In the event of a loss, the policyholder would claim against the local insurer under the local insurance policy, the local insurer would pay the claim and would claim reimbursement under the reinsurance contract. Such an arrangement is called "fronting". Fronting is also sometimes used where an insurance buyer requires its insurers to have a certain financial strength rating and the prospective insurer does not satisfy that requirement: the prospective insurer may be able to persuade another insurer, with the requisite credit rating, to provide the coverage to the insurance buyer, and to take out reinsurance in respect of the risk. An insurer which acts as a "fronting insurer" receives a fronting fee for this service to cover administration and the potential default of the reinsurer. The fronting insurer is taking a risk in such transactions, because it has an obligation to pay its insurance claims even if the reinsurer becomes insolvent and fails to reimburse the claims.
Many reinsurance placements are not placed with a single reinsurer but are shared between a number of reinsurers. For example, a $30,000,000 excess of $20,000,000 layer may be shared by 30 or more reinsurers. The reinsurer who sets the terms (premium and contract conditions) for the reinsurance contract is called the lead reinsurer; the other companies subscribing to the contract are called following reinsurers. Alternatively, one reinsurer can accept the whole of the reinsurance and then retrocede it (pass it on in a further reinsurance arrangement) to other companies.
Using game-theoretic modeling, Professors Michael R. Powers (Temple University) and Martin Shubik (Yale University) have argued that the number of active reinsurers in a given national market should be approximately equal to the square-root of the number of primary insurers active in the same market.Econometric analysis has provided empirical support for the Powers-Shubik rule.
Ceding companies often choose their reinsurers with great care as they are exchanging insurance risk for credit risk. Risk managers monitor reinsurers' financial ratings (S&P, A.M. Best, etc.) and aggregated exposures regularly.
Because of the governance effect[ clarification needed ] insurance/cedent companies can have on society, reinsurers can indirectly have societal impact as well, due to reinsurer underwriting and claims philosophies imposed on those underlying carriers which affects how the cedents offer coverage in the market. However, reinsurer governance is voluntarily accepted by cedents via contract to allow cedents the opportunity to rent reinsurer capital to expand cedent market share or limit their risk.
Terrorism insurance is insurance purchased by property owners to cover their potential losses and liabilities that might occur due to terrorist activities.
Self-insurance is a situation in which a person or business does not take out any third-party insurance, but rather a business that is liable for some risk, such as health costs, chooses to bear the risk itself rather than take out insurance through an insurance company.
The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) is a United States federal law signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 26, 2002. The Act created a federal "backstop" for insurance claims related to acts of terrorism. The Act "provides for a transparent system of shared public and private compensation for insured losses resulting from acts of terrorism." The Act was originally set to expire December 31, 2005, was extended for two years in December 2005, and was extended again on December 26, 2007. The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act expired on December 31, 2014.
Liability insurance is a part of the general insurance system of risk financing to protect the purchaser from the risks of liabilities imposed by lawsuits and similar claims and protects the insured if the purchaser is sued for claims that come within the coverage of the insurance policy.
Marine insurance covers the loss or damage of ships, cargo, terminals, and any transport by which the property is transferred, acquired, or held between the points of origin and the final destination. Cargo insurance is the sub-branch of marine insurance, though Marine insurance also includes Onshore and Offshore exposed property,, Hull, Marine Casualty, and Marine Liability. When goods are transported by mail or courier, shipping insurance is used instead.
Parametric insurance is a type of insurance that does not indemnify the pure loss, but ex ante agrees to make a payment upon the occurrence of a triggering event. The triggering event is often a catastrophic natural event which may ordinarily precipitate a loss or a series of losses. But parametric insurance principles are also applied to Agricultural crop insurance and other normal risks not of the nature of disaster, if the outcome of the risk is correlated to a parameter or an index of parameters.
Catastrophe bonds are risk-linked securities that transfer a specified set of risks from a sponsor to investors. They were created and first used in the mid-1990s in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and the Northridge earthquake.
Reinsurance sidecars, conventionally referred to as "sidecars", are financial structures that are created to allow investors to take on the risk and return of a group of insurance policies written by an insurer or reinsurer and earn the risk and return that arises from that business. A re/insurer will only pay ("cede") the premiums associated with a book of business to such an entity if the investors place sufficient funds in the vehicle to ensure that it can meet claims if they arise. Typically, the liability of investors is limited to these funds. These structures have become quite prominent in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as a vehicle for re/insurers to add risk-bearing capacity, and for investors to participate in the potential profits resulting from sharp price increases in re/insurance over the four quarters following Katrina. An earlier and smaller generation of sidecars were created after 9/11 for the same purpose.
Stop-loss insurance is insurance that protects insurers against large claims. Stop-loss policies take effect after a certain threshold has been exceeded in claims.
Finite risk insurance is the term applied within the insurance industry to describe an alternative risk transfer product that is typically a multi-year insurance contract where the insurer bears limited underwriting, credit, investment and timing risk. The assessment of risk is often conservative. The insurer and the insured share in the net profit of the transaction, including loss experience and investment income. The premium is generally well in excess of the present value of a conservative estimate of loss experience. The policy generally contains retrospective rating provisions such as
Insurance law is the practice of law surrounding insurance, including insurance policies and claims. It can be broadly broken into three categories - regulation of the business of insurance; regulation of the content of insurance policies, especially with regard to consumer policies; and regulation of claim handling.
Insurance in the United States refers to the market for risk in the United States, the world's largest insurance market by premium volume. Of the $4.640 trillion of gross premiums written worldwide in 2013, $1.274 trillion (27%) were written in the United States.
Chaucer is a leading international specialty insurance and reinsurance group. They are headquartered in the city of London, with international hubs for Europe, MENA, Latin America and Asia; protecting clients in over 200 countries worldwide.
Insurance-linked securities (ILS) are broadly defined as financial instruments whose values are driven by insurance loss events. Those such instruments that are linked to property losses due to natural catastrophes represent a unique asset class, the return from which is uncorrelated with that of the general financial market.
Insurability can mean either whether a particular type of loss (risk) can be insured in theory, or whether a particular client is insurable for by a particular company because of particular circumstance and the quality assigned by an insurance provider pertaining to the risk that a given client would have.
On July 21, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank"), which contains the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010 ("NRRA"). The NRRA applies to nonadmitted insurance, which includes surplus line insurance and directly-procured insurance, and to reinsurance. The NRRA took effect on July 21, 2011 and generally provides that the placement of nonadmitted insurance will be subject solely to the statutory and regulatory requirements of an insured's home state, and that no state, other than an insured's home state, may require a surplus lines broker to be licensed to sell, solicit, or negotiate nonadmitted insurance with respect to the insured. While the NRRA preempts state laws with respect to nonadmitted insurance, it does not have any impact on insurance offered by insurers licensed or authorized in a state.
Insurance in South Africa describes a mechanism in that country for the reduction or minimisation of loss, owing to the constant exposure of people and assets to risks. The kinds of loss which arise if such risks eventuate may be either patrimonial or non-patrimonial.
Russian National Reinsurance Company (RNRC) is the largest Russian reinsurance company. RNRC is No 1 in terms of the authorized share capital and No 2 in terms of paid-in capital on the domestic insurance market.
HDFC International Life and Re Company Limited is a life reinsurance company based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”), UAE.
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