Stability Predicted for EMEA Commercial Insurance Market

The insurance market across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is likely to remain broadly stable in 2013 despite the losses that impacted the market globally last year, according to a report by the insurance broking and risk advisory group Marsh.

In its ‘Insurance Market Report 2013’, Marsh suggests that organisations across EMEA with attractive risks and good loss histories may still be able to secure reductions on their insurance rates, continuing a trend recorded in the last six months of 2012 and good news for corporate treasurers seeking to reduce costs.

The trend is not uniform, however. Financial institutions (FI), particularly those in Europe, can expect more challenging conditions in 2013 amid on-going concerns about the eurozone and increased regulatory action. Marsh expects insurers to approach these risks with more caution, applying typical rate increases of up to 10% in the UK, Germany and Spain; and between 10%-20% in Italy, Poland and Russia.

The report also notes that demand for trade credit insurance remains strong across EMEA, although rates have remained stable for the fourth consecutive quarter, as insurers continue to compete for business. However, trade credit insurers continue to be cautious about exposures for countries such as Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

“While 2012 saw several significant insured losses, the insurance market proved robust enough to weather the storm, with a largely localised impact on rates,” said David Batchelor, head of Marsh’s international division.

“Companies that focus on providing their insurers with robust evidence of their risk management and mitigation strategies, are not only more likely to secure competitive pricing but also insurance protection correctly aligned to their particular needs.”

Other findings from the report include:

  • While property insurance rates with natural catastrophe exposures have increased by as much as 30% in loss-affected regions such as Italy, Turkey and the UK, the market across EMEA remains stable, with rate reductions still available.
  • Amid growing boardroom concern, insurance buyers across EMEA are increasingly seeking insurance protection for cyber risks. Marsh expects to see more captive insurance products being used to insure cyber security risks this year.
  • Driven by regulatory pressures, such as the implementation of a European Union (EU) Directive on environmental liability, underwriting capacity in this market has grown by around 50% since 2008 with an increase in demand of up to 25% in some countries last year alone.

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