Qatar Re to cash in on US rate recovery
Bermuda-based Qatar Re is set to seize the
moment to increase its exposure to the
US as rates there recover following the nat cat
losses in the third quarter, Luke Roden, chief
underwriting officer, short tail classes and head
of ceded re, told Baden-Baden Today.
Qatar Re, which was created five years ago,
currently has a portfolio with an exposure to
the US of around 20 percent and has recently
increased its capital base. “We see opportunities
in the US in the short-tail lines,” Roden said.
While good business to underwrite is not
easy to find in the current soft market, nat
cat losses of estimated $100 billion in the
third quarter from hurricanes Harvey, Irma
and Maria (HIM) are expected to improve
The company was exposed to heavy losses
from the events. Its parent company, Qatar
Insurance Company (QIC), posted a net
underwriting loss of $28 million for the first nine
months of 2017 (versus an
underwriting income of $151
million in the same period of
the previous year). Its non-life
combined ratio stood at 108.2
percent, compared with 98.9
percent in the previous year.
Losses were mainly
generated by HIM in the
third quarter. Through Qatar
Re and Antares’ Lloyd’s
syndicate 1274, QIC has
had a sizeable exposure to
these events, which resulted in net losses of
about $174 million. In total, the three disasters
added 10 percentage points to QIC Group’s
combined ratio and eroded 6.5 percent of the
group’s total equity.
But the company is now ready to take advantage
of the change this could trigger in the market.
“Anything that had losses will definitely have
a rate increase,” Roden said.
“It’s good timing to rebalance
Qatar Re does not
depend on retrocession and
capacity is therefore available
immediately, he stressed.
Europe will, however,
remain the anchor for Qatar
Re. The reinsurer is looking to
continue growing, particularly
in Germany, France and the
In Asia, which represents less than 10
percent of its portfolio, Qatar Re is carefully
considering the expansion of underwriting, but
it is a tough market at the moment due to price
competition, Roden said.
“We have no pressure to grow the top line;
we are focusing on the bottom line,” Roden
noted. “We are here for the long term.” n
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