Pricing drops again
Special counsel appointed
Insurance markets’ pricing declined in the second quarter of 2014 for the fifth consecutive time, the latest Marsh Risk Management Global Insurance Index shows. The decline was driven by strong capacity, particularly for property lines, and an absence of significant losses during the quarter. Nearly all regions around the world reported a general decline in rates. Global property insurance rates dropped by an average 4.6%. Casualty and financial and professional lines fell by 0.6% and 2.3%, respectively. Competition for programmes with favourable loss experience intensified in Asia during the quarter. Capacity was high for Australia’s July 1 reinsurance treaty renewals, while demand was tempered. Marsh said that was a scenario that heightened expectations that soft conditions would continue in the local primary market, most notably for property risks. The report said capacity remained strong in the second quarter of this year, as existing insurers worked to increase their market share and new capacity entered the market. Rates for property insurance fell in most regions of the world. In Australia, as well as a drop in pricing, coverage broadened as insurers offered multi-year agreements and multiline packaged deals. In the US, competition was strong, helped by new entrants to the market and a lighter-than-usual hurricane season predicted.
The quantity and complexity of New Zealand insurance claims is of global significance since the Christchurch and Wellington earthquakes, a newly-arrived insurance law specialist says. Minter Ellison Rudd Watts has appointed insurance and negotiation expert Toby Gee as a special counsel, based in Wellington. He has more than 20 years’ experience as independent counsel specialising in insurance, professional negligence, commercial, engineering and construction, product liability and medico-legal litigation. He has a particular interest in complex cases involving technical or scientific evidence. In Britain, his insurer clients include AIG, Allianz, Aviva, the Medical Protection Society, QBE and Zurich. Gee said the number of insurance claims in this country had grown significantly since the earthquakes. He said he was looking forward to his new role: “I bring a broad range of strategic experience advising and representing clients in hard-fought and challenging disputes, often in novel or abstruse commercial situations.” Minter Ellison Rudd Watts managing partner Mark Weenink said: “Toby is an important addition to our national insurance practice and formidable dispute resolution team. His extensive international litigation experience means he is in an ideal position to help clients with large-scale insurance and commercial disputes, the likes of which New Zealand is only now experiencing.”
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*IUA does not provide financial advice, is not a broker and as such is not registered on the Financial Service Provider’s Register. IUA is not a member of a dispute resolution scheme. IUA acts as an agent for certain insurers and Lloyd’s underwriters. IUA is not an insurer and no name, title, trade mark, style, designation or description on this advertisement or in any documentation should be taken as representing or implying that IUA is acting as a licensed insurer.
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