Recently, there has been a big change in the insurance and risk market. BELRIM organised several Exchanges on “The State Of The Market”. These so-called Exchanges are meetings for BELRIM members, where professionals share their vision and thoughts, and where all participants can exchange information and ask questions.
The webinar was set up to provide different perspectives of the current insurance market, on each of the main types of insurances. Four companies were involved:
- Marsh: focusing on Property and Liability
- Aon: focus on Financial Lines & Marine
- Vanbreda Risk & Benefits: focus on Personal Lines and Employee Benefits
- Guy Carpenter: focusing on the trend in the reinsurance market.
During this webinar the 4 companies gave a global overview of their vision on the insurance market, for their assigned topic. Globally, but also for Europe and Belgium in particular.
At the end of the presentation, there was time for participants - risk & insurance managers that are members of BELRIM – to share their experiences, issues and strategies. Two other Closed Exchanges followed, with a focus on addressing certain problems of the participating risk & insurance managers.
Soft versus Hard Market
Currently, we observe a tightening of conditions in the insurance market. This is a global phenomenon. For many years, there has been a soft market, in which there were good conditions & prices for companies and consumers. If there were adjustments to be made, they were positive for both broker and clients. Good years, in which there were few problems in the insurance market. For the moment it is a hard market. Not only Covid-19 caused this big change, but also for example climate change. Everyone is experiencing problems at the moment to counter these changes, and brokers are currently looking for plausible solutions.
Renewal trends in insurance contracts
Many companies renew their insurance policies on January the 1st. These policies are defined by the risk & insurance manager and proposed by the insurer. Terms and conditions varies greatly from company to company (different size, sector, geographical footprint, etc.) and negotiations are there to ensure both parties agree to acceptable grounds. This year has been very difficult, as there have been many increases already in insurance premiums. Often, the risk is borne by several insurance companies, but the upcoming year we have to face even more insurers. The many natural disasters, the uncertain macro economic environment, and covid-19 that is still raging, are some of the cause of this.
A different future
What the future will bring is unknown, but it will certainly be a different one than the one foreseen before Covid-19. We have not seen the end of this hard market and it probably will not improve anytime soon. Covid-19 has already taken longer than foreseen and climate change remains ongoing. 2021 will be quite a transformative year with many changes. It is important, certainly as a risk & insurance manager, to stay alert.
Diane Mintjens (Dexia Group) & Julien Rouaud (Agfa-Gevaert NV)