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Survey Report

Insurance Marketplace Realities 2022 – International casualty

Casualty
N/A

November 15, 2021

International casualty market capacity remains stable, and flat renewals are expected for most buyers in 2022.

Rate prediction

Rate prediction: International casualty
Trend Range
Neutral increase (flat yellow line) Flat

Key takeaway

While the international casualty marketplace continues to be affected by a complex global landscape and related insurance markets that continue to see rising rates, market capacity remains stable, and flat renewals are expected for most buyers in 2022.

The return of stability in the U.S. economy is reflected in the growth plans organizations are setting in their 2022 forecasts. A similar confidence can be seen across the portfolio of international programs written from the U.S., as healthy market capacity continues to keep rates stable.

  • However, disruptive factors remain prevalent and could negatively impact the global economy and global insurance marketplace.
  • Renewal results will continue to depend on a host of factors, including exposures and loss history as well as the timing of the most recent marketing efforts. Most renewals, we expect, will see rates very close to expiring.
  • As is commonly the case, insureds that have experienced significant claims and those with higher-risk exposures will be the most vulnerable in this evolving marketplace. We recommend that insureds initiate renewal discussions early and work to identify the key risk drivers and explore all options.

Administration costs represent a significant percentage of total costs compared to other types of coverage, resulting in a certain amount of cost inelasticity even as exposures fluctuate.

  • For the past couple years, many global businesses have been reporting reduced global revenues, but given the role of administration costs, many will not see a commensurate reduction in premium. Conversely, when exposures increase, the role of administration can potentially have a stabilizing affect.
  • To manage administration costs, carriers that write global lines of coverage are often able to partner with insureds on other lines, offering the opportunity to reduce overall cost through economies of scale.
  • Multiyear agreements are available in some instances and can offer coverage and rate certainty as well as relieving the administrative burden of annual renewal negotiations.

Despite a mostly optimistic outlook for COVID-19, most global organizations have not yet resumed much business travel, especially overseas.

  • Many workforces remain largely remote, which has meant fewer cars on the road, fewer concentrations of staff in close quarters and lowered exposure to injury or illness for international travelers. For those businesses that require in-person work, however, the risks to employee safety remain prevalent.
  • In terms of international casualty coverage, the Foreign Voluntary Workers Compensation component is the main area of focus relative to COVID-19, as it provides coverage for work-related injuries, and coverage commonly extends to endemic disease for employees working outside of their home countries. However, for coverage to apply, their travel needs to be in the course of business.
  • Communicable disease and specific COVID-19 exclusions are now commonplace but not yet uniform across all programs. Insureds should read these endorsements carefully and discuss them internally to ensure their business teams are prepared. For a carrier to agree to forgo such an endorsement, an insured will likely be asked to provide details of company-wide processes to help keep employees safe.
  • Insureds should continue to anticipate requests for additional underwriting data as a result of COVID-19. This will include questions about staffing concentrations and company policies and procedures which have been instituted as a result of the pandemic.

Depending on corporate objectives, insureds can benefit from the use of alternative structures.

  • For insureds with more complex risks who would like to take control of coverage costs and/or arrange preferred policy wording, the use of certain alterative risk structures, including captives, can be attractive.
  • Using a captive to reinsure certain portions of a risk can help an insured partner with a carrier that can issue local policies and might encourage the carrier to offer terms and conditions they might not normally accept.
  • A captive can also help an insured control and allocate costs within their organization. Those considering alternative structures should note that not every carrier will work with large deductibles or captives, and for those who do, there are collateral requirements.

Combining other P&C coverage into packages with international casualty may have strategic advantages, but buyers need to be aware of the impact the hard property market may have on a combined program — including potentially raising rates even if the casualty exposures are relatively small.

  • For insureds who prefer to combine coverages into a package, benefits can include simpler program administration, better carrier access and lower total cost.
  • Challenges will persist regarding catastrophe limits on the property side, even when combined with casualty cover. Insureds can minimize the impact by preparing for underwriting questions and delivering consistent data.

Global programs frequently require additional time and administration compared to other types of coverage.

  • Insureds should agree and document renewal objectives, begin the renewal processes early and retain a disciplined approach to renewal timelines.
  • Insureds should look at issues beyond price, such as the delivery of information and service. The most effective carrier partners are those who deliver accurate and timely policy documents, quality post-binding services around the world, and offer an insured the ability to influence localized policy coverage terms.
  • Rather than differentiate purely through price, carriers and brokers are leveraging operational tools and technology and offering underwriting flexibility and/or enhanced transparency around country-specific coverages.
  • Pre-renewal timelines should include detailed steps and consideration of how delays can impact subsequent steps.

Disclaimer

Willis Towers Watson hopes you found the general information provided in this publication informative and helpful. The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with your own legal advisors. In the event you would like more information regarding your insurance coverage, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. In North America, Willis Towers Watson offers insurance products through licensed subsidiaries of Willis North America Inc., including Willis Towers Watson Northeast Inc. (in the United States) and Willis Canada, Inc.

Contact

Director of Operations,
Global Services and Solutions
Corporate Risk and Broking

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