Axis

Friday, February 27, 2015

Life Insurance: Best Insurance to Have

We know almost all people are in fear of dying. Too harsh of a topic to start this article with but it is true. Death is imminent in every second of the day, everywhere in the world. We cannot do anything to prevent it but we can find ways to prepare for it. Taking the warning at heart, there exist insurance companies.

Almost all people now have their own life insurance. The foremost importance of this is to provide for those you left behind. This is extremely important if you are the head of the family. Industry experts say that your life insurance should be ten times your yearly income.

In the most populous countries in the world, life insurances are a must since they are also encountering high death rates each day with the continuous growth of their number. Indonesia, for instance, where 9.764 million of its people live in its capital, Jakarta has a death rate of 6.34% according to indexmundi.com. For now, accident insurance in Jakarta is the primary priority since the city is the accident capital of the world with a person dying every 90 seconds. But what happens to those they leave behind? 

Importance

Even if you do not have any material things or other assets to pass to your children or grand children, you can create an inheritance by buying a life insurance and naming them as beneficiaries. Your children would not be therefore left destitute but instead have a solid future before them.

You can also pay off debts and other expenses when you have life insurance in your aid. You do not want your children or spouse be left behind with extra expenses they need to problem with, do you?

Types

The two basic types of life insurance are the Traditional Whole Life or the Term Life. Simply explained, the former is that which you continue to pay for the rest of your life while the latter is a policy set for a specific time. In availing which one may suit your taste, you can consult a financial advisor to discuss in detail the benefits, advantages and disadvantage of each.


About Axis Capital

Axis Capital is a group of insurance and reinsurance companies based in Bermuda but with different branches from Singapore, United Kingdom, Australia and on more than ten states in America. We have been providing clients and distribution partners with a broad range of specialized risk transfer products and service over the years.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Axis Capital Insurance Group Review: Fraudulent Insurance Act Punishable By Law

With the wide spread of insurance fraud, you might start asking if there is assurance in your life plans. The insurance industry already has positioned itself in the modern world as a necessity and it will continue to hold its stand. All over the world, there are reports of insurance frauds and scams and insurance and reinsurance companies have set up their own investigation team on the alarming increase of scammers.

In America, insurance is always in demand since people and business are always looking for ways to minimize hazard fees. Because of the level of insurance concentrated in Urban Centers, insurance companies have set up ways to investigate each claim for its validity and legitimacy. In 1993, insurance fraud investigators to stage several bus crashes in New Jersey. All of the passengers inside the buses were investigators. After the crash, they receive claims from people who jumped into the accident or just merely passed by, stating that they have been hit or injured. Because of this, the Coalition against Insurance Fraud was created. They have put out warnings to the public as well as to different insurance companies on the different schemes and possible ways of earning money by scammers. Both state and federal laws prohibit both soft and hard insurance fraud in the US. The practice has been recognized as a serious crime and a favorite scheme for organized crime, and has, as a result, criminalized insurance fraud.

United Kingdom has their own ways to eliminate insurance fraud acts. They also have their own insurance fraud agents from City of London Police to t heir Insurance Fraud Bureau. The biggest percentage of scams came from car insurance. The number of dishonest motor claims rose by 34% to 59,900, attempting to cheat the industry out of £811m, as reported by BBC in May, 2014.


Insurance fraud figures are highest in the areas with higher insurance penetration, reflected in the global market breakdown, with Europe accounting for 35.9 percent of the global insurance market in 2011, North America 28.9 percent, and Asia 28.2 percent, according to Swiss Re in 2012. The Middle East and Central Asia by comparison accounts for 0.9 percent of global share, Africa 1.5 percent and Latin America 3.4 percent. While regions like the Middle East have a way to go, and the Asia markets are in general bringing systems up to speed to tackle rising fraud, more advanced insurance markets are moving ahead. Cities such as Jakarta, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore and India in which Insurance group of companies struggle to survive, they also struggle to keep track on their loss over the Insurance fraud.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Insurance Agent Legitimacy

In today’s time, you can buy your insurance policies through different ways from middle-aged women, toll fee or through the internet. If your insurance needs are just simple like getting insurance for a car, you can even place a policy on your own considering that you know the jargons and legalities in the business. Collision, rental coverage or vacation insurance is too easy to file.

However, if you are buying a disability, health or a long term insurance like life or business and home or anything unique like for a finger or so, it is better to consult an agent or a broker for the details behind the terms and to file the right coverage.

To find the right agent or broker, you can ask around for a reputable person. You can keep away from fraud or scams if that agent already has his name rooted in the industry. You can also tell if he knows what he is talking about. Some agents are just sweet talkers using flowery words to lure you in. Many legit agents will have letter behind their names in their business cards. You can check the meaning of these credentials online.

Since you are already on the net, you can check the company as well. The more good reviews the company has, the likely it is legit. When evaluating them, you may very well want to know if it is also capable of staying in the industry for a long time. You would want a company well-established enough to secure and guarantee your lifetime insurance. Their financial strength may very well know indicate that. Generally, insurance companies have letters from A to F attached next to their names. Make sure you read the right reviews and evaluate well.

You can also discuss the pros and cons and know further information regarding the business with your agents by scheduling an interview with them. He should have knowledge, effective communication skills and well-formatted experience.

There are two different agents:

1.            Independent agent - have contracts with several different insurance agencies
2.            Captive agents- works exclusively for a single company.
 
About the company 

Well-established insurance companies such as Axis Capital, with a group of companies from its main base in Bermuda to its branches to Australia, Singapore, United Kingdom and different states in America have built their reputation with a stronghold for excellence. They have been wildly talked about and greatly admired to the point of imitation to foreign countries particularly in Jakarta, Indonesia, Beijing, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia who also aim to excel in the same field. They only introduce quality service, flexible terms and high-standard customer care with their agents highly qualified in the fields of insurance and reinsurance.

Friday, February 20, 2015

When to Involve Personal Injury Lawyers for Your Insurance Claims

Many people have asked if it is necessary to hire a personal injury lawyer on claiming their insurance coverage. It is still a reason of confusion until now despite the raise of reasons regarding the consequences that may affect such decisions.

Not in every case do you need a lawyer. It depends upon the degree or the criticality of the situation. On minor injuries such as dog bites, slip accidents or accidents with defective products, it does not make any sense if you hire one. It is, however, your right to get one. 

Some insurance are easy to claim since the process is simple. Most claims would only need some forms to fill, some phone calls to make with your insurance agent if you are not aware of the legalities and jargons of the insurance industry. 

If you are already with a structured insurance company like Axis Capital with its group of companies scattered all over the world, it is expected that the compensation system is structured and the process is already based on protocol. Moreover, structured companies already have their names to protect and a little bloodletting with lawyers can hit them big.  We can therefore assume that customer’s satisfaction is their number one priority so there is no need to hire a lawyer for simple negotiations. 

Hiring a lawyer in claiming your insurance rights may have a lot of benefits as well. Insurance companies may be able to take you seriously if you come with the representation of your lawyer. Lawyers can also cover the grounds that you might have missed in your inquiries with your provider and are bound to make sure that you get the full spectrum of your coverage. Also, after the accident, the victim may also undergo emotional turmoil above all critical issues such as dealing with your injuries, the damage to your car and other psychological effects the accident may bring. Lawyers can also help you deal with your stress during the process. 

Above all, though, you know your claim the best. It is, at the end of the day, your decision to hire a personal injury lawyer since you are the one who is at the scene, the one who experienced it and neither your lawyer nor were your insurance company there. 

It does not matter wherever you are. These lawyers are everywhere. Whether you have to claim your accident insurance in Jakarta, Indonesia, Beijing, China, Males, Maldives or even Antarctica, these injury lawyers exist everywhere. 

One last hint though, hiring these legal aides can also be costly as they may also require fees. Moreover, there are a lot of fraud lawyers everywhere so you should be cautious which one to help you with to avoid further stress and complaints.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Traveling Abroad: Will You Still Be Covered?

There are so many existing insurance companies nowadays and more accidents that happen every minute. We cannot predict what happens to us, when and where it will happen, especially nowadays that people are always travelling and are always in the move. But what if one suddenly gets into an accident somewhere in Jakarta, Indonesia, Brunei or Singapore and your insurance company is in the states? Will you still be covered? Or will you just be left rotten inside a strange hospital with strange people around you and mountain of bills to pay?

Is your version of emergency the same as with your insurance company?

The definition of emergency may be vague to some insurance companies even if you are already brought in the hospital by an ambulance and has been rushed in the emergency room. Generally, when you are with a major health care provider like Axis Capital which has a group of insurance company around the world, you are most likely to be covered even outside the state as long as you are seeking care at the nearest hospital. That is why it is important for people to ask their insurance provider what their benefits are outside of the state. Pre-authorization and out-of-the-pocket fees are also to be considered as well as if there are available network providers around the area.

If an average person already believes that the situation is putting a life in danger, then it already is an emergency. Things like trouble in breathing, chest pains, heart palpitations and broken bones should already be reported.

What to do before Traveling

No matter who your insurance provider is, knowing the state-to-state regulations of your individual plan is pertinent when it comes to seeking reimbursement for health care in emergency situations. And simply calling your insurance company to ask these questions before you start your travels can save you a lot of hassle down the line and filing a lot of complaints in the end:

  • Ask if there are in-house physicians and hospitals at your destination.
  • Make sure that you are in the same page on the definition of “emergency”
  • Be informed on the extent of the coverage when you are traveling. Know what the out-of-the-pocket fees are
  • Determine if there are still forms you need to fill up before traveling to insure your coverage

Once you know if your company can cover your emergency or not, you can now plan for the best course of action. You can also purchase temporary traveling insurance to be sure. Whatever that is, you should always inform and confirm your travels with your insurance company first. You should have gotten legit insurance companies in the first place with branches all over the world to avoid the hassle and prevent being tied up with scams or frauds.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Personal Accident Insurance: Why You Need It When You Need It

We all know that insurance is essential in our lives and a very good investment too. Life insurance can be used by our family members when we passed on; health insurance is to cover our health emergencies and medical needs.   However, we should also be aware of other personal policies that we can benefit from.

We do not know when an accident would happen. It may be at home, at work or while on the road. You can never plan what to do before an accident but you can very well prepare financially for such situations. 

Insurance companies such as Axis Capital Group - with a group of companies that branch out from its main office in Bermuda to America, Europe and Singapore - offer personal accident insurance with the assurance to provide for your emergency needs. 

Imagine all the expenses you have to pay when you get into an accident: medicines, doctor fees and hospital bills among others. Sure, you have your health insurance but we all know it cannot cover all the expenses. If you have an accident insurance plan, you can protect yourself against financial consequences. 

Why is this important you ask? 

If you are not yet convinced of those written above, here are the data for road accidents alone that you can look into:

In the US, 30, 800 fatal road accidents happen every year. The European commission has predicted and is already prepared for any road accidents until 2020 since they have 54,900 reported accidents in 2001. In Asia, countries such as India and Indonesia have the highest accident rates. Indian road accidents have killed 1.2 million people in the last decade with the frequency of traffic collision 40 times higher than the rate in London. Accident insurance in Jakarta, Indonesia has also risen for the last 10 years since almost 420,000 are the victims of this fate per year. 

When you have already thought about it, you may ask your insurer about this policy, as most agents will bundle it with other insurance plans -given that they get a very low commission from the sale. Thus, for example, a motor insurance policy will probably have a personal accident insurance plan built into it, which you can enhance by paying extra. Private insurance companies offer even better plans though the premiums are obviously higher -however, these are designed to protect you fully against any mishap that might have far reaching financial consequences. 

Make sure you have a legitimate insurance like Axis Capital Group first so that you don’t get misled along the way and this is also to keep you from fraud and scams. 


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Avoiding Fraud Insurance: If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Possibly Is

Insurance is very complicated. There is a wide variety of this stuff ranging from health insurance, car insurance, life insurance and homeowner’s insurance which are necessary in today’s times. Agents, insurers and reinsurers get billions of dollars every year from this kind of business whether legally or illegally. With today’s generation of genius minds and resourceful people, these illegal exploits are oftentimes overlooked.

One kind of insurance fraud targets unsuspecting policyholders. Many individuals are deceived when they buy worthless insurance policies. When disaster strikes and policyholders seek reimbursement for damages, they find they have no coverage.

There are a lot of complaints and stories emerging from this issue. One factor that con- artist take advantage of is their victims’ lack of English knowledge. Insurance contracts are usually written in English and are complicated with the use of unordinary words that people from non-English speaking nation may not fully understand.

Asian immigrants coming from Korea, Jakarta Indonesia, Singapore, Bangkok Thailand, KL Malaysia and many other Asian countries as well as those who are not that literate and fluent in English have realized too late that immigrants are mostly the targets of these scams. Newcomers probably have little or no knowledge of insurance laws and regulations. Scam artists prefer to prey on unsophisticated consumers. This should be a warning to newcomers that they should only trust only those registered as legitimate company and agents.

Investigate

Take time to shop around. Read some articles and ask around but don’t trust immediately. With the wide access of internet everywhere, you can browse and check which insurance company may best suite your needs. You can always check their site if it seems big. If they have a number posted on, you may call and ask them a few questions. Most legit companies do not mind answering a few deep questions and may allow you to have a look into their policies and terms.

Promises are not meant to be broken

Some insurance agents lure people in through their sweet talks and flowery words. Some might even encourage you to add unnecessary services on top of your plan. Always ask for a document that shows the legitimacy of their words. At the very least, you should be given the name of the insurer including a primary phone number and address. Before signing up for coverage or making any payment, review and check to make sure the insurance company is licensed with your state department of insurance. Also check the company's financial stability with one of these free insurance rating services: Standard & Poor's at (212) 208-1529; Moody's at (212) 553-0377; or Duff & Phelps at (312) 368-3157. Don’t trust people who promise too many things which seem too good to be true. Always be cautious of the warning signs.

There are a lot of insurance companies like Axis Capital Holdings group of companies which is based in Bermuda and has several branches in Europe, over 10 states in America, Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia that can be trusted to deliver the best quality service in insurance and reinsurance to you and your family. You can check out our website to check which service best suite your insurance needs.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Choosing Your Health Care

You may still have the chance to renew your existing health insurance plan or buy a new plan with the open enrollment which ran from November 15, 2014 until February 15, 2015. Axis Capital Holding Group Ltd, a group of insurance companies with branches in Europe, America, Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia with their main office located at Bermuda has collected some tips for you to review and consider.

Old-timer
For those who already have their healthcare insurance or Health Management Organization (HMO) but are considering whether to renew it or not, you may consider which company has the best coverage. You may ask your potential insurer the following questions: 

1. Will your drug prescription be covered?
2. Will I have to pay each time I see the doctor or go to the hospital for consultation?
3. What will my monthly premium be for 2015?

If you have any questions about what changes your plan may make to your coverage in 2015, contact your insurer directly. Once you have taken the time to review any changes to your insurance plan, if you decide you want to keep the same plan, and your household income has not changed, you don’t have to do anything. Your plan will be automatically renewed. However, you may want to spend some time looking at plan choices to see if there is a better plan to meet the needs of you and your family. 

If you qualified for reduced premiums last year, we recommend you log into www.healthcare.gov to update and double-check your income information, as that will ensure you receive the correct tax credit amounts.


Newbie

In browsing for the best insurance plan, you should also get an assessment which health insurance suited you the most. Think about how often you will be using your insurance coverage, how many times you get a check-up, whether you go see a certain specialist, your drug intake, whether you need specific therapy or which hospital or clinic you often go to. Here are the three factors that may help you decide:

1. Coverage – find out which services are covered beyond basic care and which are not. Also find out which hospital, clinic, doctor and prescription drugs are limited and included in the plan.

2. Cost - it is important to know the cost of the coverage. Most plans require some level of cost-sharing that you’ll be responsible for when you receive medical care. Cost-sharing can take the form of co-payments, deductibles, or coinsurance. Be aware of all of your cost sharing requirements before you apply for a plan.

3. Compare – it does not harm to compare one Health Care Insurance provider from the other. It’s good to be aware and identify which insurance company is legit and not a fraud nor a scam. It is also advisable to shop online and list companies that may catch your interest, contact them and ask them about their cost and coverage. 

Source:

Monday, February 9, 2015

How to Transfer Your Insurance in Wheels

Buying a new car nowadays is a necessity although a lot of luxury cars have existed. It can also be very exciting to buy your wheels, ride it, feel it and flaunt it. After all, people have a different impression on you when you own new things.

Owning a car has its own responsibilities though. Insuring your car in case of unexpected turn of events can be a very good bargain albeit tedious.

It is good to know that insurance companies like Axis Capital Holdings, a group of (re)insurance companies with branches all over the world, make it easier to handle our car insurances through insurance transfer.

Before you shake your dealer’s hand, you need to think about your insurance and how buying a new car could affect your premiums. Take extra precautions and put the warning at heart before you regret it in the end.

BEFORE BUYING

When browsing new cars that might interest you, make sure to list their registration numbers so you can get quotes in insuring them. It might turn out worse when you have already found your dream car then realized you have to pay more than what it cost for its coverage.

Call your insurer and tell them that you are planning to purchase a new car. They may ask you of the registration number to check the pricelist, ask you a few more questions and see if you can afford the new cover or if your circumstance is still the same or have stepped up.

If they see that the new car is more valuable than your old one, then the cost of your insurance may rise. There may also be an additional administration fee to transfer the insurance to the new car.

If you have initially paid the insurance outright, you can choose to pay the sum in one go or spread the cost over the remaining term for the cover. If you pay for your car insurance in monthly installments, you have the option of adding the sum to your policy and spreading the cost over the remainder of the policy. The administration fees for changing the vehicle on your policy should be set out in your insurer's terms and conditions.


REVIEW YOUR OPTION

Transferring the insurance from your old car to the new one is not the only option. You can also choose to cancel your old insurance and get a new one for your new wheels. Some insurance companies may also charge a cancellation fee which varies depending on the company’s terms and policies.

About Axis Capital Holdings Ltd.

Axis Capital Holdings is a group of companies operating in over 10 states in America, Europe, Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia with their main location in Bermuda. We are global insurer and reinsurers, providing clients with a broad range of services and products. Our highly experienced underwriting, claims, modeling and actuarial teams have a breadth and depth of knowledge that distinguishes AXIS as provider of choice.

Reference:


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Axis Capital Holdings Limited graded A+ by Various Financial Analysts

Axis Capital Holdings Limited and its operating subsidiaries have been rated A+ Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) by Fitch Ratings. The Rating Outlook is Stable.

The insurance company has a history of favorable reserve development, reflecting positively on reserving practices. Over the past two years, the Reinsurance segment reported greater favorable reserve development relative to the Insurance segment. Year-to-date 2014, the reinsurance company reported net favorable reserve development of $193 million, up from the prior year period despite expectations for a reduced benefit.

The company may also be remembered to be rated A+ (Strong) by Deloitte Bermuda Insurance Market Report based on the data by Standard & Poor. According to the review, it also placed 5th in Bermuda’s top 10 reinsurers in 2014 with $728 Billion worth of net income, $19, 635 Billion worth of total assets.

PartnerRe, the company which is to merge with Axis Capital Holdings Limited on the second half of the year is also included in S&P’s top 10 ratings with $23 039 billion worth of total assets. They are rated A+ (Adequate with Strong Risk Controls).

Bermuda’s reinsurers had generated strong earnings in 2014, in part because of low catastrophe losses and favorable prior year reserve development, and they maintained strong capitalization with very few complaints from their customers.

Standard and Poor’s is the world's largest, global resource for index-based concepts, data and research.

On the other hand, A.M. Best Co. has upgraded their financial strength rating of Axis Capital Holding Limited to A+ (Superior) from A (Excellent). The outlook of the ratings has also been upgraded from Stable to Positive.

According to them, “Given the current soft casualty market conditions, the company is well positioned with a diversified book of business and an expanding worldwide infrastructure”.

Axis Capital Holdings Limited Group is the holding company of Axis Capital group of companies. The company offers insurance services including property, professional lines, terrorism, marine, energy, environmental and other insurance solutions. The reinsurance services include property, professional lines, credit and bond, and others.

The company size enables them to react swiftly and effectively to opportunities in the insurance marketplace with their label branching out on headquarters all over the world. They have offices located at Bermuda, all over Australia, Singapore, Jakarta Indonesia, United Kingdom and over 10 states in America.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Jakarta Post: Singapore Launches Universal Health Insurance

Singapore's parliament has enacted a universal health insurance scheme with nearly US$3 billion in subsidies to help the elderly and lower-income people, as it responds to demands for better social safety nets.

Lawmakers late Thursday passed the Medishield Life Scheme, the latest in a series of reforms including new policies on immigration, housing, transport and education, introduced since 2011 elections that saw the ruling party's share of the popular vote slip.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the new scheme would make Singapore a "more caring and progressive society" and was the result of consultations with the public.

The city-state has traditionally frowned upon welfarism, but it has become one of the fastest-graying societies in the world. Life expectancy in Singapore now stands at 82.5 years, according to the statistics department.

A health ministry primer said the new scheme will provide "better protection for all Singaporeans for life against large hospital bills".

It said that over a five-year period, the government will provide Sg$4.0 billion ($2.96 billion) in subsidies and other forms of support to the elderly and those who cannot afford higher premiums.

Those with pre-existing health conditions are also covered, with the government helping to bear the cost of insuring them.

Those who can afford but intentionally default on their payments can be fined and sued. Authorities are empowered to look into health and income records to calculate the premiums and subsidies.

Eugene Tan, an associate law professor at the Singapore Management University and a former appointed lawmaker, said the move is significant.

"It certainly represents a shift in the government's thinking with regards to the need for a stronger social safety net," Tan told AFP.

"It is significant because it will go some way in lightening the anxieties of Singaporeans regarding rising healthcare costs. Singaporeans are living longer, and families are getting smaller."

Tan also said the new healthcare policy would boost the credentials of the ruling People's Acting Party (PAP), which overwhelmingly controls parliament but saw its share of the popular vote fall to 60 percent in 2011 as voters demanded reforms.

The next election is not due until January 2017 but earlier polls are widely expected.

The PAP "will be seen as not being so tight-fisted [with funds] as before," Tan said, adding that there were "expectations that the government can do more, especially to lighten 'out-of-pocket' healthcare costs."

Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Takehiko Nakao said in a speech last November that healthcare costs are rising as countries become more prosperous and disease profiles change.

He cited a 2012 study by the Manila-based bank showing that in many developing countries, households spent four to seven percent of their budgets on health.

- For more tips on insurance and how to get one, see more here.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Axis Capital Group, PartnerRe merger creates fifth-largest global reinsurer

The $11 billion merger of Bermuda-based PartnerRe Ltd. and Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. accelerates the trend of offshore reinsurers combining to remain competitive.
The stock-swap deal announced Jan. 25 is the third in as many months in a sector hit by pricing pressure from an ongoing influx of private equity capital and strong competition among traditional reinsurers. The combination will create the fifth-largest reinsurer in the world.
PartnerRe shareholders will own 51.6% of the combined company, for which a name has not yet been chosen, and Axis shareholders will own 48.4%. This mega-deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.
The transaction follows Dublin-based XL Group P.L.C.'s Jan. 9 proposed acquisition of Bermuda-based Catlin Group Ltd. in a $4.1 billion deal and Bermuda-based RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.'s Nov. 24, 2014, acquisition of Bermuda-based Platinum underwriters Holdings Ltd. in a $1.9 billion deal.
“I think it is absolutely a trend and I think, ultimately, it's all driven by the same factors,” said Cliff Gallant, San Francisco-based analyst at Nomura Securities Co. Ltd. “There is a lot of pressure in reinsurance; prices are coming down and the product is changing. I expect that the wave is building and that we'll definitely see more M&A activity.”
Meyer Shields, managing director at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. in Baltimore, said: “This is a trend, it is accelerating and I don't think we're anywhere near done with this sort of announcement.”
“After a relative calm of several years, it seems the floodgates have opened for consolidation in Bermuda,” Amit Kumar, New York-based vice president and senior analyst of insurance at Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc., wrote in an analyst note that also cited the RenRe/Platinum and XL/Catlin deals.
Axis Capital CEO Albert Benchimol, who will head the combined entity, said in an interview: “I feel very confident that with the increased scale of the organization, strong profitability and cash flow, and capital efficiencies, we will have significantly enhanced resources to support the growth of additional specialty insurance business, either organically or at some point if it made sense through acquisition.”
Following last week's announcement, Standard & Poor's Corp. put Axis on its credit watch negative list as it seeks answers to questions, said Taoufik Gharib, New York-based director of financial services ratings for North American insurance.
The rating agency will meet with company management over the next 90 days and either affirm Axis' A+ stable ratings or put it on negative outlook, he said. Issues include how the combined entity will manage capital, its property catastrophe exposures, overlapping business, and how the enterprise risk management programs will be integrated and define risk tolerances, he said.
He agreed, however, there will be more reinsurer combinations.
“We'll see further consolidation, especially among the smaller companies, which need to compete to remain relevant in the market. They will be under pressure to take action,” Mr. Gharib said.
As for concerns that the deal increases Axis' exposure to reinsurance, Mr. Benchimol was not worried.
“To go from having approximately 50% of our business in a top 20 property/casualty reinsurer to having 62% of our business as the No. 5 reinsurer and leading broker reinsurer, that's a trade I'll do every day,” Mr. Benchimol said.
“It became increasingly clear to us — strategically — that what we wanted to achieve was more scale and size in the reinsurance operation” as well as build a primary insurance capability, David Zweiner, interim CEO of PartnerRe, said in an interview.
The reinsurance brokerage community also sees further consolidation.
“The conditions are all there; it's just a matter of getting the personalities to agree,” said David Flandro, New York-based global head of strategic advisory at JLT Towers Re, the reinsurance unit of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group P.L.C.
“One could argue this decreases competition, but the reverse is also a possibility,” said Phil Campbell, Edina, Minnesota-based executive vice president of BMS Intermediaries Inc.
“These larger reinsurers need to write volume and need bigger lines to get it, so they might be more aggressive in pricing and providing broader coverage just to get a line on the contract.”
Mr. Shields has an opposite view. “If I'm a reinsurance broker, the fact that I have fewer companies to go to is going to be tough,” he said. “Every time we see one of these deals, the top 20 becomes more exclusive” and controls a larger portion of premium volume.
The Axis-PartnerRe deal is expected to produce at least $200 million in annual pretax cost savings and efficiencies in the first 18 months of operations, the companies said.
Mr. Benchimol, who joined Axis in 2012 from PartnerRe, said that includes using PartnerRe's existing offices in Miami and Hong Kong.
He also said the companies' combined accident and health activities will yield an operation in excess of $600 million annually, making it one of the top players in the U.S health market.