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Five Insights into the 2012 Catastrophe Bond Market

In 2012, $5.9 billion in fresh capital flowed into the market through catastrophe bonds, making it the second most active issuance year in the history of the sector. Issuances surged 38 percent year over year, helped along by the $750 million Everglades Re transaction. Even with such a large deal in the market, there was plenty of diversity, signaling the continued evolution of the instruments.

Let’s take a look at 2012’s catastrophe bond market highlights.

1. PCS continuing to lead in North America: Transactions representing $3.1 billion in new limits used data from Verisk’s Property Claim Services® (PCS®) in their triggers. That’s in line with the 2007 result. Net of transactions sponsored by publicly managed entities, PCS attained a market share of more than 80 percent for bonds exposed to catastrophe risk in North America.

2. Around the world: Catastrophe bonds came to market covering risks in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Japan. One innovative deal, Mythen Re, provides protection for both U.S. hurricane (using the PCS Catastrophe Loss Index) and U.K. extreme mortality.

3. Fourth-quarter results: Fourth-quarter issuance approached the heights attained in 2007 and 2010, when issuance levels were around $2 billion. In the fourth quarter of 2012, catastrophe bond issuance activity fell just short of $1.9 billion.

4. Publicly managed entities: Four transactions sponsored by publicly managed entities raised $1.3 billion in fresh capital last year. Two from the California Earthquake Authority totaled $450 million. Everglades Re, the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s $750 million transaction, accounted for more than 10 percent of the year’s total catastrophe bond issuance.

5. Hurricane Sandy: PCS issued its preliminary estimate bulletin on Hurricane Sandy on November 21, 2012. We’re now involved in the resurvey process and plan to issue our next estimate to subscribers through our ISOnet® platform in late January 2013.

Our latest report on the catastrophe bond market, PCS Year-End 2012 Catastrophe Bond Report: Meeting Expectations, is now available for download. In addition to a full review of the 2012 market, it includes an overview of how PCS calculates catastrophe loss estimates.

Gary Kerney

Gary Kerney, one of the most prolific contributors to this blog, retired from Verisk in 2013. Mr. Kerney served as assistant vice president, Property Claim Services (PCS). Since joining PCS in 1981, he worked on catastrophe identification, loss estimating, and catastrophe response and mitigation.

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