IIF 2017, Vienna - Investigating the challenges that the motor insurance industry will face in the following years

20 December 2016 — Daniela GHETU
Personal automobile underwriting results generally have been stable in the USA, but its underwriting profitability has seen a deterioration trend in recent years, as factors such as rising loss frequency and severity trends, increased competition and weakened economic conditions have all played key roles in the downturn. The personal automobile segment recorded a combined ratio in 2015 of 104.6, a deterioration of 2.2 points from the previous year, notes the latest Best's Special Report, titled, "Personal Automobile - A Challenging Road Ahead".

The U.S. personal automobile insurance industry experienced net premiums written growth of 5.1% in 2015 to USD 192.8 billion from USD 183.5 billion in 2014; however, the industry is exhibiting signs of weakening underwriting and operating results, mainly driven by rising loss ratios, according to the A.M. Best special report which also notes that this market represents the largest component of the U.S. personal lines segment and is a critical line for many insurance companies, especially ones in the private passenger standard automobile composite, where personal automobile comprises over 90% of net premiums written (NPW).

A.M. Best believes reversing the trend of worsening underwriting results in the face of current market headwinds will be a challenge for personal automobile insurers. While higher rates, improved pricing segmentation and claim initiatives may address some of the near-term financial pressure on the line, there are emerging issues that may have more consequential and structural impacts on the personal automobile market on a longer-term basis. Continued technological innovation, the evolution of autonomous vehicles, the rise of Uber and Lyft and the potential growth of non-traditional competitors are just a few of the developments that personal automobile insurance companies will need to grapple with in the upcoming years.

In fact, precisely the evolution of these profitability factors will be under scrutiny on the occasion of the IIF - "New challenges for the CEE motor insurance industry" Conference, to be held in Vienna, Austria, on February 15th, 2017.

The conference will investigate on the means offered by the digital technologies - telematics, IoT etc., to improve vehicles safety and drivers' behaviour and to assist the insured drivers both in preventing and dealing with the road accident effects. The issues of pricing and claims settlement, with an accent on their role in shaping insurers' profitability will also be touched by the conference's top speakers' team.

Registrations are already opened on the event's website. Free of charge participation is accepted for regulators, professional associations of insurance undertakings and distributors, consumer representatives and mass media, subject to availability.

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