Albany, NY (PRWEB) August 22, 2014
A challenging property and casualty market, along with weakening profitability, led to the growth of the specialty insurance market, which is becoming increasingly global in nature with specialty carriers trending in similar lines and facing common issues. The global outlook for specialty insurance is positive for 2014–2018.
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The US is the largest market for specialty insurance
Specialty insurance includes high-hazard insurance, non-standard general insurance, niche market segments, bespoke underwriting, and excess and surplus lines insurance. As there is no standard definition for specialty insurance, estimating the market size is complicated. The global market size for specialty insurance, in terms of gross written premium, was estimated to be in the range of US$140–180 billion in 2013. The US is the largest specialty insurance market, contributing more than 50% of the overall gross written premium in 2013.
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Market capacity for cyber-liability insurance is growing rapidly
Growing rates of cybercrime and data breaches have increased demand for insurance protection against cyber-attacks. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in June 2014, total global losses due to cybercrime stood at US$445 billion in 2013. The cyber liability market is a growing opportunity for specialty carriers. In 2013, the market capacity for the US cyber liability insurance was estimated at US$1 billion, and is expected to cross US$2 billion by the end of 2014. Other than the US, European economies are the key markets for cyber-liability insurance. Although the European cyber-liability market is relatively small at present, it is growing at an annual average rate of 50%.
Superior underwriting profits driving growth
Specialty insurance is a high-risk, high-return market characterized by underwriting profitability. The underwriting cycles for specialty insurance products are currently in a difficult market phase, resulting in higher underwriting profits for insurers. On average, specialty carriers across the world generate strong underwriting profitability in comparison to property and casualty insurers. However, their exposures to catastrophic risks led to record losses in 2011 as a result of the earthquake in Japan and the Thai floods.
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Lack of underwriting talent the biggest obstacle to growth
The success of specialty carriers depends on the pool of underwriting and actuarial talent. High risk levels and the complex nature of specialty products require expert knowledge for profitable underwriting, and sourcing and retaining qualified professionals has become a fundamental problem for specialty insurers across the world. This is expected to result in significant wage inflation over 2014–2018. To address this issue, insurers are focusing on developing in-house talent through internal programs. Many specialty insurers depend on syndicates of underwriting experts such as Lloyd’s.
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Reasons to Buy
Insight Report: Current Accounts - Emerging Trends, Product Insights And Case Studies
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Due to changes in regulatory frameworks and competitive dynamics, retail banking and its current account business have changed gradually during the last decade. Despite initiatives taken by banks to retain customers, the current accounts market in developed economies recorded growing instances of account switching. Improved customer service, attractive reward programs and financial incentives offered by banks are the main factors encouraging customers to switch their primary banks.
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In emerging economies, pricing has been the primary reason for the low volume of banking customers. As pricing is affected by cost pressures and changing customer expectations, banks are adopting a number of product and pricing strategies in the form of loyalty programs, incentives, packaged current accounts and customized product offerings to entice customers. Furthermore, with increasing technological advancements, banks are encouraging customers to use low-cost banking channels to conduct banking transactions, resulting in reduced operating costs and improved profitability.
Insight Report: The Rise Of Online Aggregators
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The emergence of online aggregators has revolutionized the distribution of insurance products and services. Distribution in the insurance industry has become increasingly diverse, with online aggregators, direct online sales, agencies, brokers, auction sites and mobile-based distribution. Online aggregators have enabled consumers to access multiple quotes from different insurance service providers, and their presence is spreading across the world, bringing fundamental changes to the insurance industry. This trend is likely to continue until 2020.
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Online aggregators have become a growing phenomenon in the global insurance industry. Online aggregators first emerged as a marketing channel for insurance products and services in the UK insurance industry in 2002 with the launch of confused.com. After just a decade, online aggregators now account for 60% of new motor insurance policies and 50% of personal insurance lines. The growth trend is similar in other European markets such as Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands. Although online aggregators are highly successful in the UK and other key European economies, they are yet to achieve similar success in other parts of the world. The American and Asia-Pacific regions provide growth opportunities for online aggregators over the next five to 10 years, and online aggregators have already established footholds in key markets such as the US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and India.
Insight Report: Best Practice In The Reward Credit Card Sector
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Banks are increasingly using rewards and loyalty programs as a tool for maintaining relationships with top-end customers, as these relationships provide high potential for revenue generation. Financial institutions are putting forward premium experiences and offers to increase loyalty and develop deeper banking relationships. Rightly positioned, unique rewards act as a key differentiator in a highly commoditized financial services market.
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To remain profitable, banks have been making changes to their strategies and operational models which includes finding the optimum mix of funding options and reward offerings to achieve greater levels of customer loyalty and profitability. Both issuers and card schemes are partnering with airlines, hotels and popular brands to offer merchant-funded rewards. The strategy allows card issuers to improve the value of their reward credit cards without putting upward pressure on costs.
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