This year the reinsurance industry has had to contend not only with the costly extreme weather events but also the ripple effects of inflation. According to McKinsey's "Global Insurance Report 2023," global property catastrophe reinsurance rates saw a sharp rise of 37 percent in January 2023 renewals, marking the largest increase since 1992. Inflation, moreover, is leading to increased claims costs, notably affecting property casualty carriers as highlighted by Silverline . Despite these hurdles, the reinsurance sector's profitability remains resilient, buoyed by increasing prices and higher reinvestment yields.
A recent article in USA Today noted that extreme weather conditions have a major impact on agriculture, causing delays in planting schedules and potentially higher food prices. In California, a key food producer in the U.S., crops such as berries, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, and tomatoes have been severely affected. This disruption in agricultural productivity affects food availability and contributes to food inflation, an additional layer of risk for reinsurers.
Moreover, extreme weather has disrupted bee pollination, essential for certain crops, especially almonds, a high-value crop in California. Disruptions in the pollination process can lead to reduced crop yield, thus impacting the commodity price, evidenced by a 33% price increase in almonds in March. These evolving factors add a new dimension to the inflationary landscape reinsurers must navigate.
The best way forward for reinsurers in this current situation is to embrace innovation and prioritize customer retention. This necessitates leveraging advanced technologies, revamping traditional models, honing risk management strategies, and maintaining a comprehensive understanding of customers' needs, including their exposure to climate-propelled inflation.
By investing in underinsured markets reinsurers also have an opportunity to play a part in the reduction of deleterious effects that arise from economic inequality. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified that over 3 billion individuals currently reside in zones significantly susceptible to the impacts of climate change. Additionally, half of the world's population now faces intense water shortages during portions of the year. There is a real opportunity for insurance professionals to partner with international organizations to devise comprehensive climate solutions to tackle this problem head on.
Although the future of reinsurance presents formidable challenges, climate solutions specialists like Arbol and their reinsurance partners continue to bridge the protection gap and build resilience by enhancing risk forward-thinking management strategies, and focusing on customer retention.
To learn more about what Arbol can do for your business, reach out to us here.