We knew the time would come when the squishy property insurance market would firm. But nobody could have predicted what?s occurred the past 15 months: $105 billion of insured losses around the world from a rapid-fire succession of quakes, floods and tornadoes.
These catastrophes are coming too fast to keep up and insurers are certainly taking it on the chin with expensive claims.
Now what happens next to this property market? And when will the next shoe drop? Of course, everybody wants quick, direct and definite answers to these two questions. But there?s no easy answers and no consensus yet.
"The insurance markets are at the very softest points right now. No room to absorb extra costs or extra events," was how Serge Troeber, chief underwriting officer for Swiss Re, summed it up for editor Matthew Brodsky for his cover article.
Our cover package of four articles goes a long way to educate everyone on the state of this global property market, how it got here and where it?s headed the rest of this year and next.
We don?t stop there, though. We reveal the signals and clues that foretold the March 11 disaster in Japan, but were ignored by most. We link the quake and tsunami to continued supply chain disruption from Japan to the U.S. and back.
And, finally, we report what U.S. corporate risk managers told us about how their businesses were affected by the devastation in Japan.
This all adds up to a compelling issue. You?ll want to read every word of it.
August 1, 2011
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