Best’s News & Research Service - May 09, 2022 10:55 AM (EDT)
Best’s Special Report: U.S. Directors and Officers Insurance Market Posts Best Results Since 2014
- May 09, 2022 10:55 AM (EDT)
Oldwick //BestWire// - With significant growth in the segment’s top line premium and profitability on a direct basis, results in the U.S. directors and officers (D&O) insurance market in 2021 were the best insurers in the segment have recorded since 2014, according to a new AM Best report.
In its new Best’s Special Report, titled, “D&O Insurance: Positive 2021 Results, But the Segment Still Faces Formidable Challenges,” AM Best states that consistent, aggregate pricing increases by D&O writers—reportedly exceeded 10% per quarter—fueled direct premium growth of 35% to $14.6 billion. “Excess capacity has been a primary contributor of the disparity between rates and the pricing of risk exposures, even as the loss ratio crept upward. With results worsening because of factors such as social inflation, litigation funding, environmental, social and governance concerns and cyber-related claims, insurers have pushed aggressively for elevated premiums upon renewal, as well as higher self-insured retentions and more-restrictive terms and conditions,” said Christopher Graham, senior industry analyst, industry research and analytics, AM Best. The report notes that further improvement in the market depends largely on whether insurers remain disciplined and focused on meeting rate adequacy needs and offsetting claims costs that continue to rise.
The report also notes that the full effect of the pandemic on D&O and on other professional or management liability lines will not be known for some time. COVID-19-related D&O claims may be lagging occurrences or actions, as the pandemic continues to pose challenges for companies and the economy. As a result, the increase in premium and its impact on the line’s direct profitability may not reflect the actual depth and complexity of the challenges D&O insurers still face. Additionally, with fewer legal proceedings reaching trial, and court cases and litigation delayed amid the pandemic, the slowdown in the increase of defense and cost containment expenses, another driver of the positive results, may be temporary.
“The improvement in results in 2021 has to be viewed as a possible aberration, rather than the start of a trend—at least until full-year 2022 results are available,” said David Blades, associate director, industry research and analytics, AM Best. “The D&O line’s bottom-line profitability in 2022 will indicate whether carriers’ actions were enough to generate true price adequacy and serve as a springboard for sustainable improvement. At the same time, with balance sheets throughout the U.S. property/casualty market remaining strong and available capital from participants already entrenched in the D&O segment, as well as external capital looking favorably on current pricing levels, perhaps a new, more-competitive underwriting cycle may be starting.”
To access the full copy of this special report, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=319810 .
AM Best will host a complimentary webinar on Thursday, May 12, 2022, at 2 p.m. (EDT) on the state of the D&O market. To register, click here: AM Best’s Briefing - D&O Market: Start of a New Underwriting Cycle?
AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City.