Line of Business Overviews
2021 saw the return of re/insurers into the Marine Cargo market due to higher rates and improved results throughout 2020, together with the entry of new market capacity, including MGA’s with a wide-ranging appetite and large underwriting capacity.
This has resulted in a flattening of the market, and most of the renewal business seen towards the end of the year was at expiring terms. We expect this trend to continue into 2022. Noticeably, North American accounts are redomiciling back into the US market.
The possibility of large losses due to the misdeclaration of cargo remains an issue, with this being a leading cause of fire onboard vessels. The blockage of the Suez Canal by the grounding of the Ever Given for nearly a week in 2020, and the resulting loss to the market, emphasized the impact of the size of new vessels and the accumulation of goods. Challenges to the supply chain persisted long after the obstruction was removed, highlighting the effect a single incident can have on the delicately balanced ‘just in time’ supply model in which the industry operates. Working groups in shipping and insurance continue to seek solutions to these issues.
An increasing focus on ESG has shifted the appetite of much of the London market away from fossil fuels such as coal; meanwhile, the push for carbon-neutral shipping continues. As a result, we have seen more companies opting to use LNG-fueled vessels or hydrofoils to reduce emissions and offer a carbon-neutral option to their clients.
Coverage restrictions for cyber and communicable diseases continue, as does the move towards higher technical standards in underwriting rather than emphasizing top-line growth. Barents Re continues to employ a rigorous approach to technical underwriting to maintain profitability while remaining competitive.