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Survey Report

Insurance Marketplace Realities 2022 Spring Update – International casualty

April 7, 2022

Despite outside pressures from related insurance markets and a complex global landscape, the international casualty marketplace remains relatively stable.
Casualty
N/A
Rate predictions: International casualty
  Trend Range
International casualty Neutral (flat yellow line) Flat

Key takeaway

Despite outside pressures from related insurance markets and a complex global landscape, the international casualty marketplace remains relatively stable, with markets continuing to differentiate through notable investments in capabilities, data and resources.

The marketplace for international casualty for U.S.-based insureds remains healthy and competitive overall, with ample capacity to meet most of the insureds’ coverage needs.

  • Elements of disruption observed in previous quarters in related lines of business have begun to subside, and data from recent renewals suggests that confidence and stability are trending upward once again.
  • The multinational landscape remains a complex one, with the recent turmoil in Eastern Europe raising new questions about coverage availability and the movement of cash, i.e., premium and claim settlements. Given the fluid nature of events, insureds with impacted risks should examine options relating to how subsidiaries might participate in global programs and the location of premium collection, with discussions beginning as early as possible.

Premium rates are projected to remain flat, with understandable caveats for significant exposure changes, claim history and marketing frequency.

  • Strategic and thoughtful pursuit of alternative quotes can help buyers achieve optimal results when partnering with carriers across multiple lines of business.
  • With insureds reopening discussions about business expansion and growth projections, markets can expect organic premium to rebound toward pre-COVID volumes, which should mean less upward pressure on rates at renewals.
  • Long-term rate agreements remain possible and can drive stable results, helping insureds operate within operating budgets.
  • Seeking early commitment between all parties well prior to a renewal also helps achieve longer-term stability.

Exposure data requirements remain in place with an impact on policy language.

  • While competition for market share remains healthy, carriers still require time and detailed exposure information in order to conduct thorough underwriting, something we suspect will continue. The risks entering the market from a number of industries continue to present new and evolving complexities, which has required carriers to make adjustments to policy language.
  • For certain industries, particularly retail and manufacturing, exclusionary language related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is becoming increasingly common. Insureds should anticipate discussions of their exposures and requests for additional exposure details.
  • Certain industries are seeing more specific underwriting and policy language regarding emerging issues, such as sexual molestation and autonomous vehicles.
  • Communicable disease remains an important issue across the marketplace for many industries and occupancies, with underwriters requiring information from insureds about safety precautions and company procedures addressing employee safety.
    • Stand-alone coverage has become available for infectious disease liability, so far out of London with a claims-made trigger.
    • Communicable disease exclusions remain common, though the exclusionary language is not consistent across the market, and with sufficient detailed information, underwriters may limit or remove the exclusionary language.

Program structure should be designed to respond to insureds’ business needs — beyond the need to pay claims.

  • When considering the structure of an international program, decisions about where to issue local policies and the coverage/limits to be localized should consider future requests that insureds may receive from third parties to provide evidence of coverage. Pitfalls can be avoided by taking the time during renewal to examine the location of those contracted relationships and the coverage/limits that may be requested.
  • Insureds are seeing more requests to evidence higher local limits than in the past. Most international casualty carriers can offer localized limits up to $10 million or even $20 million if needed, and it’s much easier to address program structure at renewal than mid-term.
  • Buyers can often combine other coverage elements into a package including property coverage. In previous quarters, the property component came with challenges on rate as well as catastrophe coverage availability, but recent trends show improvement.

Buyers should coordinate the placement of international casualty with U.S. casualty and umbrella.

  • Regardless of the size of the insured’s business overseas, the three separate casualty renewals (U.S., umbrella and international) should remain closely connected throughout the renewal process to prevent gaps and leverage premium spend.
  • Risk managers should ensure coordination between the U.S. and international programs about occurrence and suit locations and coverage territory, as well as attachment strategy regarding excess limits.

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 entities, including Willis Towers Watson Northeast, Inc. (in the United States) and Willis Canada Inc. (in Canada).

Each applicable policy of insurance must be reviewed to determine the extent, if any, of coverage for losses relating to the Ukraine conflict. Coverage may vary depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances. For global client programs it is critical to consider all local operations and how policies may or may not include coverage relating to the Ukraine conflict. 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 and/or other professional advisors. Some of the information in this publication may be compiled by third-party sources we consider reliable; however, we do not guarantee and are not responsible for the accuracy of such information. We assume no duty in contract, tort or otherwise in connection with this publication and expressly disclaim, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any liability in connection with this publication. Willis Towers Watson offers insurance-related services through its appropriately licensed entities in each jurisdiction in which it operates. -The Ukraine conflict is a rapidly evolving situation and changes are occurring frequently. Willis Towers Watson does not undertake to update the information included herein after the date of publication. Accordingly, readers should be aware that certain content may have changed since the date of this publication. Please reach out to the author or your Willis Towers Watson contact for more information.

Contact

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

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