The Conning Commentary: Insurance Industry Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic
The May Conning Commentary offers an in-depth review of the COVID-19 pandemic business interruption creating challenges for insurance companies, and also reports on how property and casualty, life and annuity, and health insurers are faring during this period, as well as a look at what may be next.
MPL Market Update
The medical professional liability (MPL) insurance industry is seeing rising combined ratios, falling profitability less favorable reserve development, and also higher jury malpractice awards driven by “social inflation.” Conning’s Bill Burns notes that these factors suggest more trying times may be ahead for carriers in his video “Market Update,” created for the Professional Liability Underwriting Society 2020 Healthcare & MPL Symposium.
COVID-19 and Poor Countries: The Right Response
The world’s poorest countries affected by COVID-19 are in need of financial assistance, but Conning affiliate Global Evolution, a manager of emerging and frontier markets debt, argues that any solution must be driven by the principle of “crowding in” market-based finance through market confidence-building measures.
Credit Market Update: Fallen Angels, Fed Liquidity Programs and Conning’s Market Outlook
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant downgrades in U.S. corporate credit and a growing number of “fallen angels” – credits that were investment grade but have since fallen to a below-investment-grade rating. In a Q&A, Matt Daly, head of Corporate and Municipal Teams, discusses current credit market dynamics and opportunities for insurers that steer clear of fallen angels.
Conning ConnText Podcast: Quarterly Investment Outlook
The economic shutdown may have helped “bend the curve” in limiting greater contagion to COVID-19 but recovering from the shutdown will be another battle. The concerns and potential opportunities are discussed in our quarterly Conning ConnText podcast, hosted by Rich Sega, Global Chief Investment Strategist, and featuring Matt Daly, Head of Corporate and Municipal Teams, and Paul Norris, Head of Structured Products.
Stress Testing Scenarios for COVID-19
Conning is making available to our colleagues in the insurance and pension industries free of charge a selection from our GEMS® Stress Test Scenarios package, which includes historical scenarios with similarities to the current economic climate and a new scenario file based on 2020 YTD data.
Pension Funded Status Tracker March 2020
The funded status of the average U.S. corporate defined benefit pension plan fell 4% from 86% to 82% funded, over the course of March 2020. he asset portfolio saw declines as both the hedging and growth portfolios underperformed, and Liabilities also witnessed a decrease, mostly driven by a widening of high quality corporate spreads.
Stress Testing in the Pandemic Age
Economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic may seem unprecedented, but there are similarities to the 2008 financial crisis and other past market dislocations.
COVID-19 Effect on the Insurance Industry
While the insurance industry is well suited to weather the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, rating agency stress-testing is expected to result in both ratings downgrades and requirements for additional capital for certain insurers.
Portfolio Income Opportunities Amid Market Distress
Insurers may wish to take advantage of the current market dislocation to potentially enhance portfolio income without having to invest new cash or assume a significant amount of additional risk.