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Global reinsurance market remain strong despite challenges, says IAIS report

December 22, 2010: The global reinsurance market has continued to show robustness in the face of persistent adverse conditions in the real economy in general, and in financial markets in particular. This is the main conclusion reached by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) Global Reinsurance Market Report 2010, released today.

Reinsurers are key contributors to the soundness of insurance markets, especially via the coverage they provide against losses from natural and human made catastrophes. The Global Reinsurance Market Report, now in its 7th Edition, builds on the unique data provided by 45 global reinsurers worldwide who, in collaboration with the IAIS, contribute to increasing our knowledge about reinsurance in order to better understand, regulate and supervise this key financial industry.

Reinsurers proved profitable in 2009, benefiting from both sound management of asset portfolios and diversification of insurance risks, as well as from a moderate catastrophe year. Far from creating systemic concerns to financial markets, reinsurers have contributed positively to financial stability. In particular, the reinsurance sector has continued to focus on diversified risk taking, drawing on the fundamentals of the reinsurance business in order to navigate a particularly turbulent time for the economy in general, and the financial sector in particular.

Jeremy Cox, Chair of the Reinsurance Transparency Subgroup, the working party in charge of the study, noted that “despite persistent adverse conditions, reinsurers have demonstrated they are able to understand and manage risks appropriately; this is not just good news to the reinsurance sector, but above all, it is good news to the policy holders”.

It has also been emphasised that in a period of rapid reform affecting the regulation of financial markets, the reinsurance sector has yet again provided encouraging examples of sound risk management practices applied at a global level. There is plenty to learn from this experience, and this is a reason why the IAIS is highly committed to continuing with its comprehensive surveillance of reinsurance and its linkages across borders and across financial sectors.

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