Twice a year we provide granular commentary on multiple lines of business. The most recent was in January. This update is focused on those instances where Covid-19 is creating changes on that commentary. Flight to quality was our overriding message then and that is being reinforced now.
Quality and timely submissions are at the core of success. This applies to renewals as much as to new business. Markets were changing anyway and the situation is exacerbated. Underwriters are working hard to maintain service and they are inevitably prioritising accounts that are well presented with clarity of information and requirements.
In general, you will be aware that there are moves to insert evolving variants of wording to address communicable disease exposure as policies come up for renewal. There is not yet a consistent approach. The reinsurance market is having an increasing influence.
Aspects of the market situation are fluid and we can only provide a snapshot of a moment in time. Stay in touch with your Miller contacts to discuss these and any other questions you have. Good communication is more important now than ever.
Recommendation: Get your submissions in early, do the preparation and the results will follow. We can help you.
- Economic hardship is on the horizon and it is possible that tempers will flare.
- We have facilities that accommodate risks so that underwriter minimum premium requirements are satisfied.
- Post COVID-19 economically motivated anti-government protests are probable if economic recovery is slow and uneven. Former Soviet countries, e.g. Russia will be hit hard due to double impact of COVID-19 and oil price collapse, violence is therefore likely to ensue.
your active assailant contact
Accident and Health
- COVID-19 exclusions are becoming a particularly hot topic in this sector.
- Group stop loss policies are also in play.
your accident and health contact
Efforts are firmly underway to build capacity behind the limited number of carriers currently offering epidemic/pandemic risk insurance. The London market recognises that pandemic risk requires a joined-up industry wide solution. Cash flow and speed of response is a key component. Read our dedicated pandemic article here.
your alternative risk contact
- The ongoing situation highlights companies’ exposure to low frequency high severity events. Firms will seek to insure some of this exposure in the future and can use their captive to cover gaps between the cover they require and the cover available in the market.
- Rate relief is afforded more to those buyers willing and able to retain more risk and captives are efficient vehicles to take on this retention to help reduce the groups’ total cost of risk.
your captives contact
- Capacity increases are definitely emerging in both Bermuda and London since our January update.
- There has been a push to include Communicable Disease exclusions.
your casualty contact
- The significant drop in oil price since the last bulletin is likely to have a bigger effect than COVID-19 on the number of new energy projects reaching FID or on existing projects being mothballed or put on extended construction schedules. Underwriters are continuing to provide cover and extend policies subject to suitable security and preservation procedures being in place.
- The COVID-19 situation is not restricting underwriting activities although a little more time should be allowed in order to complete placements.
- Rates are largely unchanged over the past quarter as markets continue to stick rigidly to underwriting guidelines.
your construction contact
- We are not aware of any markets withdrawing from Contingency to date, but we know of several that have stopped writing new business until further notice.
- Premium rates have increased by circa 25% (as a minimum). Rates for distressed business have increased by 50% or more.
- Our own exclusive in-house contingency binder has successfully been renewed.
your contingency contact
- Rates are increasing slightly for Technology E&O accounts, with some carriers looking to manage line sizes.
- Otherwise since January Cyber rates remain flat on clean renewal business.
your cyber contact
- Extra scrutiny is being taken over the financial wellbeing of the insured’s businesses this is even extending to business continuity, future outlook and funding.
- We are seeing extra rigorous subjectivities being requested around the above points and some markets want the information ‘prior quoting’ rather than the more typical ‘prior binding’.
your d&o contact
Energy midstream, downstream & petrochemicals
- Underwriters are working well in the current environment, turnaround time has slowed so important that submissions are in early.
- New submissions must be high quality in content and presentation as competing for underwriters’ attention who are busy servicing existing accounts.
your energy contact
- Appetite is slimmed with most carriers who are considering new business limiting that to only those risks that are large enough to have the infrastructure to deal with Covid19 in place and to adhere to all governmental guidelines.
your healthcare contact
Underwriters are looking more closely at business interruption coverage provided under policies and there is further scrutiny of related sublimit especially in respect of hospitality risks.
your property contact
- There is a potential for Markets to relax in the wake of Government advice, extending the number of days’ vacant from somewhere between 30 and 45 days, to between 60 and 90 days and holding off onerous conditions and restrictions of cover.
- Re-inviting terms for 1 April renewals after a downturn in exposures (predominantly Casualty and Group Personal Accident & Travel).
- Where invited on an M&D basis, markets have been sympathetic and agreed to renegotiate terms (either by removing the M&D or reducing the %).