Top 10 global reinsurance ranking companies are writing over 70% of the total unaffiliated gross reinsurance premiums written

8 September 2016 — Daniela GHETU
MUNICH Re and SWISS Re continued to top the global reinsurers' ranking in 2015, with almost double GWP volumes as compared with the next best performance, belonging to HANNOVER Re, shows the latest AM Best's Special Report* which presents the Top 50 reinsurance groups ranked by unaffiliated gross premium written in 2015.

SCOR S.E., Lloyd's, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Reinsurance Group of America Inc., China Reinsurance (Group) Corporation, Everest Re Group Ltd. And PartnerRe Ltd. Are completing the Global Top 10 reinsurers according to AM Best. In fact, the Top 10 composition remained unchanged as compared with 2014, let apart some differences in ranking. "The market leaders continue to dominate the market, with the Top 10 reinsurers of 2015 remaining in the top quintile of the 2016 rankings, and writing over 70% of the total life and non-life unaffiliated gross reinsurance premiums written," notes the report.


Coming back to the absolute leaders, it is worth noting that both reinsurers have seen some slight y-o-y, decrease in the GRWP in 2015, both groups mentioning in their annual reports that softening market and currency exchange effects played a relevant role in configuring the full year results. On the expenses side, while Munich Re's report noted that "basic losses remained noticeably below the expected level overall", its Swiss competitor mentioned together with the "benign natural catastrophe experience", a "large man-made loss burden".

The trends stressed out by the two absolute leaders coincide with the AM Best report's conclusions regarding the global reinsurance market ecvolution in 2015: "Overall, the year-over-year declines in premium have accelerated. In 2015, total life and non-life gross premiums declined 1.5% year-over-year, versus less than a 0.5% decline in the prior year.

The decrease in premiums is attributable to discipline among many players in the market, but also the significant depreciation in foreign currencies relative to U.S. Dollars, on which the ranking is based, also accounts for some of the decline.

While 2015 was not devoid of severe natural catastrophes, many events were either away from population centers or were in areas of low insurance penetration. The relatively benign catastrophe environment has put significant downward pressure on rates. With investment yields at unprecedented low levels, the focus must remain on underwriting discipline."

*Global Reinsurance - Segment Review Remaining Relevant, September 2016