The Life Reinsurance Partnership The Panel Katherine Billingham, Certified Arbitrator
Nick DiGiovanni, Locke Lord Brett Laker, Pacific Life Re Susan Mack, Certified Arbitrator and Umpire Moderator: Suman Chakraborty, Squire Patton Boggs The Facts of Life Early Treaties (Europe) 1854
Cologne Reinsurance Company (Germany) 1865 Swiss Reinsurance Company (Switzerland) 1880s Munich Re (Germany) 1918 Mercantile and General (UK)
Key Dates: US Market 1868 Pacific Mutual Life treaty with California Mutual Life 1889 Actuarial Society of America founded with 38 members. 1919 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company organizes its first reinsurance division. 1923: North American Reassurance Company founded Top 8 Global Life Reinsurers 1.
2. 3. 4. Munich Re Swiss Re RGA SCOR 1.
2. 3. 4. Hannover Re China Reinsurance General Re Partner Re By Gross Premiums Written Source: S&P Global 2018
Top 8 US Life Insurers 1. 2. 3. 4. Met Life Northwestern Mutual New York Life
Prudential 1. 2. 3. 4. Lincoln Financial Mass Mutual AEGON
John Hancock By Direct Premiums Written Source: NAIC Looking Back on Life Disputes Pre-1990s In the decades prior to the late 1990s, life reinsurance disputes were extremely rare Most market participants never went to arbitration
Disputes tended to be resolved via negotiated resolution, with perhaps concessions going forward or on other contracts Shift in Late 1990s Disputes increased gradually but still remained infrequent Disputes were varied in subject matter claim disputes administration for investment portfolios underlying permanent life products
whether facultative risks had been ceded in error to automatic treaties workers compensation spirals of the late 1990s The Keys to Life First Key Relationship between insurer/insured is more personal/intimate and long-term, whereas cedent-reinsurer is more technical.
Different competitive incentives. Second Key These are long-term bets and long-term predictions. Expectation that reinsurance relationship will potentially last decades (absent recapture). Third Key Difference between facultative on the Life side vs. P&C
Underwritten by medical evaluation, life risks are often ceded to facultative and automatic treaties Rates developed for individuals based on health characteristics (e.g. preferred or standard, smoker or non-smoker) Direct writer (Cedent) and reinsurer agree to cede automatically individuals with a given table rating or better Substandard risks are ceded facultatively for the reinsurers underwriters to examine: accept or reject! Lifes Struggles
Stranger Owned Life Insurance (STOLI) Investor groups induced the purchasing of life insurance policies on individuals by paying the ongoing premiums and an upfront payment to the insured.
Generally were looking for older, moderately impaired individuals with no history of life insurance purchases In most situations the personal finances were falsified to justify the insurance amounts and present the individuals as much wealthier than they were a key component in life insurance mortality assumptions Bundled and sold to secondary investors over time Banks now hold much of these investments
STOLI Patterns Older ages at death 85+
Issued 1999 2007 (appears to have tapered post 2004 due to increase scrutiny by the underwriting and advance markets teams as well as higher COIs for older ages which impacted the economics of the sale) Total lines of $15-50M Multiple policies issued in a short time frame across 5-6 regular direct writers sometimes multiple policies at the same direct writers to facilitate multiple investor group options Heavily concentrated in New York/Brooklyn area and the mid/south Atlantic coast of Florida
Lapses/Reinstatements While STOLI has hit the life insurance industry, many of the schemes have not paid out to the extent expected. As a result, premium payments are delayed until absolutely necessary which is normally at the end of a lapse grace period. A new pattern has emerged however in which the investor group
manipulates the reinstatement period where the policy lapses, but delay payment of the premium owed at the 11th hour of the reinstatement period In many of these situations, the policy was not eligible for the reinstatement due to a change in health/insurability. However, the contractual language around a reinstatement denial and most carriers inability to properly manage the process created an opportunity to challenge the denialwhich in many cases had evolved to a claim. Why the fuss?
Anti-selection and incorrect mortality reviews/assessments has resulted in widespread losses through the layers of the life insurance industry. Amplified in the reinsurance/retrocession space due to the larger face amounts. The wagering on a persons life calls into question some ethics behind life insurance sales and could threaten the tax preferred status Past losses are being factored into future mortality/pricing and legitimate sales will bear the brunt of paying for the sins of the past
Fewer companies seem to be interested in writing life insurance (AXA, Met, Sun Life, GWL) which will make it more difficult for consumers to cover true protection needs Reinsurance Rate Increase Yearly Renewable Term (YRT) - reinsures mortality risk only Deficiency Reserve concerns in the 1970s gave rise to Rate Clauses Typically gave Reinsurers the unilateral right to raise
rates after the first year Cedents argue that intention of parties was not to ever raise rates. Reinsurance Rate Increase Rate Clause language evolved as rate increases were becoming more prevelant no present intention to raise rates cedent given the right to recapture business rate increase takes effect only if cedent increases costs of
insurance rates must be increased on all of reinsurers YRT business Cedents have challenged the reinsurers rights to unilaterally raise rates on YRT business Older Ages In the early 2000s, treaties expanded to include reinsurance coverage of policyholders aged 65+ Because the aging population constituted new marketing ground in
an industry where demand was slowing, direct writers developed older age products Lulled by so-called mortality improvements, reinsurers provided favorable rates in an increasingly competitive marketplace Where YRT rates increases are disproportionately weighted toward older ages, should reinsurers be insulated from the effect of incorrect assumptions? A Challenging Life
Changing Market Conditions Fewer players with larger market share Increased chance for conflicts Limited number of qualified arbitrators Effect of companies in run-off
Age of Treaties Disputes involve treaties negotiated 15-20+ years ago Issues include: Unavailable witnesses Sparse records, which seldom key into the treaty clause which is the subject of debate The current Cedent the original Cedent The Future of Life
JUMBO Limits Defined as the Total amount applied for and in force across all policies on an individual. Has been set at $65M since 2004. Retrocessionaires were the main proponents due to the stacking potential from the direct and reinsurance layers. Similar to STOLI, brokers/agents can manipulate the submission process to keep a second set of eyes (reinsurer) or third (retro) from seeing an application.
Variable Annuities Sold as a hedge against drops in the stock market, variable products in the early 2000s provided guaranteed minimum death benefits (GMDBs) Contract anniversary value or ratchet Initial purchase payment with interest or rising floor Variable Annuities
In the great recession, these guarantees precipitated large direct writer losses Payments to beneficiaries of amounts exceeding annuities value, once stock market performance eroded principal Similarly impacted, reinsurers challenged annuitization wording and other product features What will happen with the next market downturn? The End of Life
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