AM Best: First Monday

U.S. Life/Annuity Industry Navigating Obstacles to Growth

 A Stable Outlook

March 04, 2015 -OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In the second of four “First Monday” episodes exploring the U.S. insurance industry, A.M. Best Vice President Stephen Irwin and Assistant Vice President Rosemarie Mirabella discussed the U.S. life/annuity sector.

Other “First Monday’ Review & Preview episodes will focus on the health sector and major trends in the reinsurance industry. “First Monday” is A.M. Best’s monthly program featuring commentary by the company's leading analysts.

“A.M. Best has a stable outlook on the life/annuity industry due in part to the improving economic environment as overall risk management processes continue to improve,” said Irwin. “Generally speaking, underwriting appears to be rational with rational pricing and continuing improvement in the area of risk management framework as respects hedging,” added Mirabella. However, Irwin and Mirabella believe that growth, penetrating the life insurance market, which presently has declining ownership, the record low interest rate environment, technological investments and regulatory uncertainty, are all challenges for this industry.

Historic Resilience

Nevertheless, the industry has a history of resilience despite these challenges. Recent episodes of A.M.BestTV include:

  • ‘First Monday’ Review & Preview: Overarching Issues Threaten Positive Results in U.S. Property/Casualty Sector: A.M. Best Group Vice President Anthony Diodato highlights positives in the P/C sector, including a second straight year of underwriting profitability.
  • Insurers Step Up Their Charitable Giving: A new McKinsey & Company survey shows that charitable giving by the insurance industry has risen by 15% since 2011.
  • National Insurance Crime Bureau Fights With Computers and Investigators: A small army of former police investigators at the National Insurance Crime Bureau help member companies fight fraud by weeding through thousands of suspicious claims every year.
  • New England Storms Test Insurers’ Claims Handling: A briefing from A.M. Best concerning insurers that have large portions of their business in the New England region, where insurance claims are mounting due to a series of winter storms in that area. A.M.BestTV covers exclusive A.M. Best information and reports, targeted topics and key developments in the (re)insurance industry every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
...underwriting appears to be rational with rational pricing and continuing improvement in the area of risk management framework as respects hedging

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