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Swiss Re selling ReAssure; California nonrenewal moratorium; P&C outlooks


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Swiss Re selling ReAssure; California nonrenewal moratorium; P&C outlooks

Swiss Re AG agreed to sell ReAssure Group PLC to Phoenix Group Holdings PLC in a deal that values the U.K. subsidiary at £3.25 billion. Swiss Re will receive a cash payment of £1.2 billion as well as shares in Phoenix representing a 13% to 17% stake, and will be entitled to a seat on its board. MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc., ReAssure's minority shareholder, will receive shares in Phoenix representing an 11% to 15% stake.

Also, Swiss Re and its subsidiaries will adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards for its consolidated financial statements with effect from Jan. 1, 2024.

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara ordered a mandatory one-year moratorium on nonrenewals of home insurance for policyholders living near recently declared wildfire disaster areas. The moratorium covers more than 800,000 residential policies. He also encouraged insurers to voluntarily adopt a statewide nonrenewals moratorium.

U.S. property and casualty insurers are positioned to slightly improve their underwriting profits both in 2019 and 2020, according to Fitch Ratings. The rating agency maintained its stable outlook on the sector, citing the industry's capital strength and recent pricing improvement.

Economic growth is slowing, but the global P&C insurance industry benefits from solid capitalization and positive pricing trends, according to Moody's. The rating agency's outlook on the sector is stable.

And rating agency A.M. Best has maintained a stable market outlook on the global reinsurance industry for 2020, owing to a stabilized pricing environment, alignment of traditional and third-party capital and the life reinsurance segment's stability.

U.S. healthcare spending grew 4.6% in 2018, faster than a year earlier — an outcome driven largely by increases in medical prices and the costs for private insurance and Medicare.

Insured losses from ongoing bushfires in Australia are estimated at approximately A$165 million to-date, reported, citing an Insurance Council of Australia spokesman. In the state of New South Wales, at least 683 homes have been destroyed because of the fires.

Insurers and governments should collaborate to reduce the likelihood of state-sponsored cyberattacks, a defense and security specialist said Dec. 5. Addressing a Willis Towers Watson PLC seminar on cyberrisk, Elisabeth Braw, senior research fellow for think tank Royal United Services Institute's Modern Deterrence project, said the insurance industry typically had to "pick up the pieces" from cyber-aggression between nation states.

AmTrust Financial Services Inc. appointed CFO Adam Karkowsky to serve as president. Also, Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.'s Carpenter Marsh Fac Re has appointed Carlos Rivera as CEO.

MetLife Inc. will acquire pet health insurance administrator PetFirst Healthcare LLC.

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US P&C insurance industry profitable in Q3 despite deteriorating auto results: Higher private and commercial auto liability loss ratios notwithstanding, the U.S. property and casualty industry remains on pace to generate an underwriting profit for the full calendar year.

AIG leads US life industry's ongoing multifamily mortgage investment push: The absolute and relative levels of mortgages backed by multifamily properties reached new heights in the general accounts of U.S. life insurers during the third quarter, and a recent survey suggests potential for further expansion.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: SMFG to expand Indonesia biz; RHB Bank to exit Hong Kong; Yes Bank downgraded

Europe: Phoenix buys Swiss Re unit; EU approves NordLB rescue; Julius Bär eyes EFG

Middle East & Africa: Israel outlines open banking rules; Orange Bank's MEA plans; Bankia in Morocco

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 1.07% to 26,498.37, and the Nikkei 225 inched up 0.23% to 23,354.40.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.81% to 7,195.32, and the Euronext 100 gained 0.50% to 1,119.24.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

On the macro front

The employment situation report, the consumer sentiment report, the wholesale trade report, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count and the consumer credit report are due out today.

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