However, that said, from a purely specialty insurance business perspective, it has been a fairly benign ride. Most lines that we operate in, including aviation and first party motor, have seen vastly reduced claims helping to balance out reduced premium volumes in those lines of business, and the pandemic has, and is, driving a long overdue hardening of the market overall.
The one major exception has been contingency lines, with major and minor events across the globe being cancelled – from the Ice Hockey world cup to the postponement of the Euro 2020. No surprise then that Lloyd’s recently reported a £3bn hit across contingency lines. However, even in contingency lines, the future is brighter and, as we move forwards, there will be higher deductibles, stricter terms and conditions, and premium increases.
The main change, however, across all the lines and across all the geographies that we operate in, is market hardening, as insurers look to make up for (in some markets and lines of business) 15 years of a soft market. In Australia, for example, we have seen a second year of 2 to 3 digit percentage increases in financial lines, and now – for the first time since long - the market is getting premiums above the technical underwriting profit levels.