The ranking appears in a new Best's Market Segment Report, "Global Reinsurance Outlook Remains Stable in a More Uncertain World," and is based on reinsurance gross premiums written in 2020. To achieve greater precision in AM Best's annual ranking of leading global reinsurers, this year's analysis included only year-end gross reinsurance premiums written, eliminating any primary premiums. Prior rankings had included primary premium that was less than 25% of a reinsurers' total premium volume.
As a result of this change, Munich Re moved ahead of Swiss Re Ltd., which held that spot in the two previous years and dropped to the second position. These two global reinsurers together account 25.6% of top 50 GPW in 2020, down slightly from their combined total of 27.7% in 2019.
For year-end 2020, Munich Re posted reinsurance GPW growth of 21.1% (USD 7.9 billion), which was driven by broad-based expansion in the property/casualty lines of business across its geographically diversified book. Munich Re also experienced increases in its life and health lines, driven primarily by business originating in the United Kingdom; this exposure growth was heightened by euro appreciation of just under 10% against the U.S. dollar.
Notably, the 10 largest reinsurers' share of premiums remained largely the same, despite the increase in GPW to USD 220 billion in 2020, up from USD 197.5 billion in 2019. Total GPW among the top 50 in 2020 rose to USD 321 billion. The substantial increase in GPW can be partially attributed to rate increases derived from the hardening reinsurance market, a trend that AM Best expects will continue into 2022.
Other highlights from this year's report include:
- An increase in total dedicated reinsurance capacity year over year by 7% to USD 517 billion is notable given the loss-affected operating results across the industry. Perhaps even more notable is that the increase is wholly attributable to a rise in traditional reinsurance capital.
- The report also provides in-depth looks at the insurance-linked securities, Lloyd's, life reinsurance and mortgage reinsurance markets, as well as regions such as Latin America, MENA and Asia-Pacific.