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Global ins. market is well capitalized in the face of COVID-19

Tuesday, 05 19 2020, Category: Insurance and Reinsurance, Country: World
Global insurers are well capitalized to absorb the hit from rising claims and costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, ratings agency AM Best said on Monday, citing a stress test it conducted to gauge the immediate impact of outbreak on insurers’ financial strength.

AM Best said most rated insurers and reinsurers performed well in its stress test and their capital levels provided an adequate buffer against a potential shock to their balance sheets.

Sensitivity to the COVID-19 pandemic was greater for life and health insurers with high asset and mortality risks, insurers with material exposures to mortgage loans, carriers operating in domiciles in higher country-risk tiers and companies with smaller capital bases.

Property and casualty insurers in the United States and Canada performed relatively well in the stress test, compared with life, annuity and health insurers.

Most companies in the Asia-Pacific market generally performed well, as did those in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, the test showed.

“Insurers are likely to see a significant hit to earnings in 2020, rather than a material decline in risk-adjusted capitalization,” said Mahesh Mistry, senior director, AM Best Rating Services.

“Reputational risk in certain markets may also be a problem, as any legal disputes become more visible to consumers, policyholders, regulators and legislators,” he added.

Source: Reuters
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