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(From Insurance Day)
Byline: Swiss Re and Munich Re compete fiercely for top slot in the minds of the world's primary insurers. Early analysis of the 2003 results suggests the force is currently with the Swiss, finds ADRIAN LADBURY
MUNICH Re and Swiss Re combined accounted for 33.5% of the net reinsurance premiums written by the world's biggest 40 reinsurance groups in 2002. According to rating agency Standard & Poor's annual reinsurance report, Munich Re wrote net reinsurance premiums just shy of $25bn while Swiss Re posted $21.6bn, against a total for the top 40 of just under $139bn. It is unlikely the proportion of the global reinsurance premium base written by the two firms will have gone down significantly in 2003, despite the only marginal change in volume written by Munich Re between the two years.
So it is safe to assume the two companies will still have accounted for roughly one-third of all global reinsurance premiums in 2003. This huge number gives the two firms a lot of power which is magnified when you consider that, as leaders or near leaders in virtually all their major lines outside the US, Japan and France, these two firms set the rates, terms and conditions that the rest tend to follow.
Berkshire Hathaway Re Group, Employers Re Group and Hannover Re are also very big global companies and the recent decline of Scor in France has increased …