LONDON CALLING: WHY THE LONDON MARKET MEANS SO MUCH
The American insurance market is large, but finite. Although there are millions of consumers, there is a limit on available premium dollars, and the market is quite competitive. Available insurance products — and risk — range from the commonplace (homeowners, auto) to the complex and/or unique (cyber, satellite, professional athletes, emerging markets). The number of insurers that offer each product is limited as well.
The London insurance market offers cover at both ends of this spectrum, from complex to simple. Unbeknownst to many American businessowners and consumers, the London market is a strong consumer alternative; meanwhile, the capacity of the London market is one of the world’s true backstops against financial risk. The highest profile of these risks, as the Summer turns into Fall, is the pending hurricane season. As we’ve discussed repeatedly in our TK Blog, hurricane risks remain, at best, unpredictable and potentially extreme.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org):
“Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science predicts a near-normal hurricane season in 2016, producing 15 named storms. Six of those storms are expected to become hurricanes, and two of those are predicted to be major hurricanes, reaching Category 3 or higher. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects the 2016 hurricane season to produce 12 to 17 named storms, of which four to eight could become hurricanes. Two to four of those hurricanes could reach Category 3 or higher. Colorado State University’s prediction does not include the two tropical storms that formed before June 1, Alex and Bonnie.”
If this prediction is accurate, the continental United States will face 2 additional, major hurricanes in the coming months, following Hermine. The London market and domestic insurers alike will play a vital role in paying claims to get homeowners and business owners back into their homes/properties, and its importance cannot be undervalued. (September 16, 2016)