Reinsurance broker Aon Benfield said it achieved rate cuts of up to 5% in the 1 June and 1 July renewals in areas less or unaffected by the 2011 catastrophes.

The broker said that while the market and its rival reinsurance brokers had reported increases of up to 15% in non- or less-affected areas, its changes ranged from flat to -5%. "On US programmes with co-broking arrangements, reinsurance pricing at renewal was significantly less favorable on average compared to those accounts where Aon Benfield acted as sole broker," the company said in a statement.

However, the firm also reported "meaningful" rate changes in regions affected by the 2011 disasters, which include the 11 March earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the 22 February earthquake and aftershocks in New Zealand.

At 1 June, Aon Benfield put through rate increases in New Zealand of more than 100%, but achieved its flat to -5% price movements in Florida overall. For co-brokered Florida business, Aon Benfield said it saw increases of 10%, but for clients where it was the sole broker it averaged reductions of 7.5%.

The trend continued at 1 July, Aon Benfield said, with flat to -5% price changes for US clients. Japanese programmess renewed with price increases ranging from 30% to 50%, while Australia price increases ranged from 15% to 70%.

Aon Benfield also noted certain anomalies in the renewals. For example, it said reinsurers were not willing to reward insurers that cut exposure in key catastrophe areas with commensurate rate decreases. However, reinsurers were willing to increase pricing at a rate lower than the pace of growing catastrophe exposures for insurers that wrote more business.