It is a good time to be a corporate and specialty insurer. The market has been hard for several years and there are no signs that the market is going to turn any time soon. Market rate movements ultimately come down to the balance of demand and supply and it is clear that demand currently outstrips supply in the corporate and specialty market.
But how long can the good times last? Sadly we all know it cannot be forever. Noting that the speciality market is not a single, homogenous whole but a collection of classes of business which all perform to their own micro-cycles (as we argued in an article in 2022), we believe that there are another 12-24 months to run. Property CAT is likely to be towards the longer end of the scale (and maybe beyond that depending on hurricane activity) whereas smaller specialty lines such as Cyber are likely to be softening by renewal in 2024.
Some carriers will think that 12-24 months is a comfortable buffer. However, carriers need to think carefully about their level of preparedness for the inevitable downturn. Industry executives need to be confident they have in place a soft market ‘playbook’. For many the playbook will likely highlight gaps in operational or technological capability. Given often lengthy change and transformation cycles, 12-24 months starts to look like a very short window.
In this report we look at the supply and demand factors driving the current market cycle and make predictions for how long the market will last.
Paul is Head of Oxbow Partners Market Intelligence team, which helps insurance and reinsurance clients access insights into insurance markets around the world.Paul has a broad understanding of markets, a deep understanding of many of the key European players, and strong analytical foundations, all gained during his decade working as an equity research analyst covering European insurance. He is also a qualified accountant and spent time in strategy and finance roles at Standard Life.Paul is a regular commentator on UK personal lines and is often quoted in publications such as the Financial Times. He has authored a number of articles or Oxbow Partners and has built our fundamental model for the UK motor market. He regularly attends client executive and board meetings to share his perspectives.