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Archived stories from 2010

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January renewals - it's either good news or bad news

What do the January renewals hold for the insurance industry? After the dust has settled from a frantic Monte Carlo Rendezvous and Baden Baden meeting, everything is much clearer. Unfortunately, our journalists got totally plastered at both meetings and have no idea what's going on, so as usual, we decided to talk to the same old bunch of reinsurance reprobates as last year. The rent-a-quotes represent the cream of the industry - senior executives who spend all their time at conferences, press launches, and parties and who therefore have no idea what's going on with regard to underwriting (surely, "their finger on the pulse" - Ed) but are always good for a quote.

RISKbitz chief reporter
interviews the leading egos

The RISKbitz guide to the January Renewal Season - What can we expect?

"The biggest problem facing the industry is communication. If only there was some way we could stay in permanent touch with our underwriters, not to mention brokers and clients. Not everyone has access to a telex machine day and night, let alone a fax. And the other thing the industry needs is some sort of idea about catastrophes and how much damage they might cause and the insurance cost. Perhaps some sort of model?" - Ian Luddite, chief executive of the Luddite Agency

"Bloody good fun, thoroughly enjoyed Monte as ever, and Baden Baden Baden - bloody brilliant. Excellent casino - lost a few quid I can tell you. Drove down to Baden with Lady Nob in the Bentley - lovely run. Super golf tournament too once we got down there. Reinsurance? Didn't hear much about it, to be honest. Perhaps I was at the wrong meeting? - Mocha Re's chief executive and chairman, Sir Norbert "Nobby" Johnson.

"Awfully good fun, Monte was a laugh, but Baden was hard work - quite a drive from Blighty in the Jag, but Lady Dud and I raced old Nobby Johnson down there - Baden Baden or Bust, ha! ha! He won of course but only because we stopped off at a lovely place we know in France for a few glasses of the red stuff. Reinsurance renewals? Not till Jan old boy, not till Jan. I expect it will all go swimmingly and everything will be splendid. Won't it?" - Hoggwartz Global Insurance chief executive, Sir Dudley "Dumbo" Duddleston

"What we are identifying through our sarcastic (surely "stochastic"? - Ed) analysis is a curved, hypertensive, parabolometric response to the ?in vitro' marmalisation of the expectancy factoids which in a normality scenario would imply a degradification of the enhancified giga-trend towards rationalisatification of the whole plethora of algorithmical insensitivities. Over time. Transmogrificationally. Or some shit. So it could basically go either way". - Harvard J Thwakkenbakker IV, senior vice at management consultants V?cU?usity.

"It's been a very successful and let us not deny it, highly lucrative renewal season already, and if those contingent commissions keep pouring in we'll be well on our way to my bonuses, I mean, a highly profitable year. Sorry did I say ?contingent commissions', I meant to say ?corporate incentivisation payments'. Or was that we called them last time when they got banned? Anyway, you know what I mean, keep it schtum." - A spokesperson for SupaBroka, Mega Broker and most of the others.

"It was very pleasant at Monte Carlo, I met, as usual, with my mistress, Evangelista Bordereaux, in a little place I rented in the mountains, and we spend a very enjoyable few days. I always enjoy ?renewing' my acquaintance with her, and hope that future renewals will be just as much fun. Reinsurance, on the other hand, is very boring. Don't talk to me about it now." - Debaucher Re chief executive, Jean-Claude Bidet.

"Prices go up, prices go down. Sometimes they stay in the middle. What more can I say? I'm an analyst not a mind-reader. We analyse after the event. That's what analysis means. Otherwise it's forecasting, and we don't do that. We wouldn't downgrade until we'd analysed the reasons for a company failing really, really badly. We'd hardly do it beforehand. Or while they were going down! That would be very irresponsible as we'd just push them down further. Think about it! OK, let's talk after the renewals, maybe June next year." - An unnamed analysist at rating agency Grumpy, Glitch, Wurst & Rich's.

"Rates are sky-rocketing" - Reinsurer underwriter

"Rates are yet to hit rock bottom" - Insurance buyer

"Not sure about Europe and the rest of the world, but the US Mid Term Renewal Season is being described as the biggest shift in 70 years. Some people have done very well out if it, and others have done very badly. Others have just sat around drinking lots of tea. Personally, I missed it all ?cos I was in Baden Baden and stayed on for a few days for the golf. Also, we're redomiciling to Liechtenstein so screw the US." Gollum Re, chief executive Burl Juggernaut III.

Other news from Nov 2010
Travelating the Wave of Insurability
the serious stuff
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