The top reinsurance stories online

Despite new year’s eve hangovers and post-renewal fatigue, there was a noticeable spike in the number of people visiting globalreinsurance.com in the first few days of the year.

Our top two stories for the month showed the inevitable interest in post-renewals coverage. But the feverish curiosity surrounding renewals was made more acute by the stand-off between cash-rich reinsurers and hard-pressed insurers. Brokers won the day,

securing price reductions of 5%-15% for their clients across major lines.

New kids on the block will inevitably cause a stir in a competitively priced market and Ceres Re, a Munich Re-backed retro vehicle, was a focus of interest for web readers when it was launched at Lloyd’s. In the rarefied atmosphere of retrocession, this new arrival seemed to be bucking the trend.

Meanwhile, tax and regulation continue to loom large on the horizon, as if the lives of the world’s reinsurance underwriters and brokers were not complicated enough. Our story ‘UK “taking closer look” at reinsurance transfers’ appeared to justify fears that tax authorities were adjusting their position on VAT following an ECJ decision against Swiss Re. The ruling in October 2009 found that the reinsurer was liable for tax on a set of portfolio transfers.

Standard & Poor’s said downgrades among French insurers were possible in 2010, despite sound resistance in 2009. The rating agency made the announcement after finding that many insurers were favouring competition and premium growth over long-term risk management.

Online top five

Jan 1 renewals

The reasons behind softening reinsurance rates

Reinsurance rates soften

Prices reduced at 1 Jan 2010 renewals

Ceres Re launched

New retro underwriter launched at Lloyd’s

UK ‘taking closer look’ at transfers

Tax officials no longer giving ‘rubber stamp’ following Swiss Re ruling

S&P foresees shockwaves for French insurers

Downgrades possible in 2010, despite sound resistance in 2009