Irma to have impact on US property rates
“Already a few things about Irma are selfevident,
and that’s without knowing if it
will hit Tampa,” Tad Walker, CEO property/
casualty at PartnerRe, told Monte Carlo Today.
One of these, he said, is that it could cause
some hardening of US property rates.
He explained that the US property market
has generally been strained over the past several
quarters. The earnings of many of the national
and regional writers have been impacted by
attritional cat losses such as hail, tornadoes,
and winter storms: “things that don’t make the
headlines but which mount up,” he said.
According to Walker, these losses have been
at quite high levels this year. If you add Irma
on top of that, there will be an impact, he said.
In addition, he stressed that Irma could
generate a big storm surge loss. Put that on
top of Harvey and an already weak National
Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and frankly
something has to give, he said.
“The future of the NFIP means
prognosticating on politics, because it is a
politically-driven entity, so whether politicians
are ready to say that subsidies need to be
adjusted or moved is hard to guess,” Walker
“Certainly from a reinsurance standpoint
what we’d like to see is quite clear—even more
transfer to the private markets, and subsidies
adjusted to make sense or even eliminated.”
Walker also wondered if storm surge as a
risk could be added to the flood programme, as
inland flooding and storm surge are two very
“What would make sense would be to
separate them and have the private market pick
up more storm surge, because we know more
about hurricane risk and modelling that risk,”
Walker stressed that it was still too soon to
estimate the nature of the impact and damage
from Irma, but stated that at the very least it
would have an impact on US national flood
rates, resulting in hardening in that area of the
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