It’s a ‘Bermudan’ day in the neightborhood…Paige St John at the Herald Tribune exposes why ‘buying Bermuda’ is like being hooked on crack.

Is Paige St John at the Herald Tribune a member of the Slabbed Nation?  Let them eat cake indeed Mikey.

The new Florida norm are carriers like ACA Home, a tiny St. Petersburg home insurer started after 2005 with funding in part from a Bermuda reinsurer.

ACA Home has no employees and pays an affiliate, American Strategic, to run its business.

Financial filings show reinsurers take 86 cents of every premium dollar ACA collects – $9 million of the $10.5 million it collected in 2009.

The cost for turning over almost all of its risk is high. ACA pays as much as 33 cents for $1 of protection against the most likely kind of storms, the equivalent of paying $66,000 a year to insure a house worth $200,000. Continue reading “It’s a ‘Bermudan’ day in the neightborhood…Paige St John at the Herald Tribune exposes why ‘buying Bermuda’ is like being hooked on crack.”

More news from the Cat House: The unregulated, nefarious Bermudan market for collateralized reinsurance. Can’t match those yields…

That’s right folks, this is the market our politicians like Commish Mike Chaney and his band of GOP idiots tell us we should trust and believe in. Never mind what happened when this coutry’s official economic policy was to trust the unregulated derivates market, the gang in Jackson has their story and they are sticking to it. Perhaps this is also why our state’s windpool has become a bottomless pit for taxpayer subsidy. I’ll let the good folks at Risk and Insurance Online explain:

But perhaps the investor summed up all his unspoken concerns when he stood up at the end of the presentation and asked, in not so many words: Isn’t it true that you reinsurance guys keep all the good catastrophe risks for yourselves, then give what’s left to catastrophe bond investors?

It is a matter of debate whether the speakers denied that or not, but what they did say definitely is that collateralized reinsurance has its own special place in the world of insurance-linked securities (ILS), separate from CAT bonds. It’s not that one product covers better property-catastrophe risks than the other.

It’s that collateralized reinsurance has found itself a niche at the bottom of the reinsurance program. Collateralized reinsurance usually comes into play at the lowest layers of a primary carrier’s reinsurance program. We’re talking even below the traditional “working layers” where the big-name reinsurers play.

Yep we have a new kid on the block in Collateralized Re and guess what kids? It operates in a non transparent market out of Bermuda as we continue: Continue reading “More news from the Cat House: The unregulated, nefarious Bermudan market for collateralized reinsurance. Can’t match those yields…”

The Tangled Web Part Deux: Support your local TARP insurer and/or subsidize “the wealthy”

I love it when I hear that mental “click”! I’ve been squirreling away several important news links like pieces of a jig saw puzzle trying to figure out how to make them fit and be understandable to a broader audience. This post is partially in response to the recent guest column by Eli Lehrer of the Competitive Enterprise Institute that ran in the Sun Herald last Thursday. The S/H was no doubt attracted to the piece by Mr Lehrer’s use of scare tactics including yet more premium increases for our private/industry run insurer of last resort and it is with that incredible piece of propaganda that we start:

As it girds for the busy months of hurricane season, Mississippi has plenty to worry about. Homeowner’s insurance coverage remains difficult to find and expensive for those who have it.

If that weren’t enough, some members of Congress now want to change the tax law in a way that would drive already expensive coastal Mississippi insurance premiums even higher.

The proposed new tax will impact “offshore affiliated reinsurance” — a rather esoteric product that matters a lot in Mississippi. Explaining why requires some background. To begin with, all sizeable primary insurers — companies like Allstate, Farm Bureau, Nationwide and State Farm — buy insurance of their own, reinsurance, to help cover particularly large losses and diversify their own portfolios.

Particularly in high-hurricane-risk areas like the Gulf Coast, many companies find it advantageous to buy some or all of their reinsurance from a parent or sister company that they know won’t abandon them following a major storm.

Now we slabbers well know the reinsurance examples he uses have a grain of truth to them and indeed the domestic insurers Lehrer mentions sometimes use reinsurance but generally not the high priced kind used by our windpool. Allstate, for example, reported on page 35 of their last quarterly financial statement filed with the SEC, a mere $141 million of  property and casualty reinsurance premiums for Q1 2009. (Considering Allstate measures it assets in billions of dollars $141MM is a very small amount). Readers interested in greater detail on the interplay of reinsurance and catastrophe payouts should start with this link, which I featured in this post. From there we have posts on the trend to and use of insurance linked securities in lieu of traditional reinsurance treaties (and the subprime problems contained therein) here, here, here, here, and here. Not to be out done by the people in Bermuda, State Farm, among others, created their own Bermudan reinsurance subsidaries to play the tax game.

Suffice it to say Slabbed is calling bullshit on Eli Lehrer. Not only is his opinion piece propaganda of the type that would make Joseph Goebbels proud it is insulting he actually pretends to care what people here pay for wind premiums (or even know that people well off the beach pay huge amounts for wind insurance here). The CEI is working equally hard to insure HR 1264, Gene Taylor’s multiple peril bill remains DOA Continue reading “The Tangled Web Part Deux: Support your local TARP insurer and/or subsidize “the wealthy””

Spike needed in US economy, keep the soup!

Bermuda is what “Insuranceland” would look like if Disney added such a unit to its Epcot Center. On practically every block in downtown Hamilton, you see a major insurance company or brokerage office. It’s almost impossible to sit down at any public place and not run into someone you know from the business.

Sam Friedman paints an interesting picture of Bermuda – You’ve got to love a place that spikes its soup! – and a troubling one as well. While covering Professional Liability Underwriting Society conference, Friedman filed this report.

Bermuda faces a number of threats to its supremacy as a global insurance center, including a potentially “catastrophic” challenge to its relative tax advantage, the U.S. consul general warned in a speech here. Continue reading “Spike needed in US economy, keep the soup!”