= Ultimate Parent



Global Home > Insurance

Chinese Non-Life Insurers to Seek Capital on Slower Surplus Growth

Chinese non-life insurers, especially those with small scale of operation, volatile underwriting margin and high growth dynamics, are likely to seek fresh capital. The liberalisation of commercial motor insurance premium rates will limit insurers' ability to improve their margins, leading to slower surplus growth.

Japan's Life Insurers Look to Foreign Bonds due to Low Domestic Yields

Fitch expects Japanese life insurers to continue to increase their allocation to foreign fixed-income assets, including those denominated in US dollars as well as other foreign currencies, to boost yields. 

Japanese Non-life Insurers Well Capitalised Despite High Losses

Japan's three non-life groups - Tokio Marine Holdings, SOMPO Holdings and MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings - have maintained strong capital buffers despite record-high weather-related losses of JPY1.6 trillion in 2018, as the groups' diversified businesses tempered the poor performance of their domestic non-life segments at group level.

U.S. Personal Lines Profits Improve Led by Auto Insurance Segment

U.S. personal lines insurance saw strong premium growth of 8% in 2018, says Fitch Ratings. The sector's statutory combined ratio of 99% for 2018 represents the market's best results since 2013, according to a new special report from Fitch. 

Cyber Insurance Growth Slows, Market Remains Untested

The cyber insurance market remains a source of growth for U.S. property/casualty insurers; however, that growth is slowing. The industry's total direct written cyber premiums grew 8% in 2018 to $2 billion, down from 37% growth in 2017. 

Austrian Life Insurance Market to Shrink for a Fourth Year

Austria's life insurance sector faces a fourth successive year of declining premium income in 2019, even if it is less pronounced than in 2016-2018. Profitability will remain under pressure as insurers bolster provisions amid low investment returns. In contrast, the non-life sector is relatively profitable and growing steadily.

US P/C Industry 2018 Performance Improves on Return to Underwriting Profit

The U.S. property/casualty (P/C) industry returned to a modest statutory underwriting profit in 2018 following two consecutive years of combined ratios above 100% as catastrophe losses slowed, premium growth accelerated and results were favorable in several key product segments.

Insurance Broker Performance Trends Promote Ratings Stability

Profit fundamentals remain favorable and supportive of current rating levels for U.S. insurance brokers in Fitch Ratings' universe, namely: Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC), Aon Plc (AON) and Willis Towers Watson, plc (WLTW)

UK Insurers Unlikely to Get Profit Boost From Fraud Reduction

UK non-life insurers will probably not get a profit boost despite a likely reduction in fraudulent insurance claims. We expect insurers to use the savings stemming from tighter regulation of claims management companies to keep premium rates down rather than to increase profit margins, as the market is highly price-sensitive.

London Market Insurers' Results Hit by Cat Losses and Investment Returns

Underlying profitability was hit by natural catastrophe losses, as reflected in Lloyd's of London reporting a combined ratio of 105% in 2018 (2017: 114%). However, some London market insurers, such as Beazley and Hiscox, were still able to report underwriting profits thanks to their non-catastrophe-exposed specialty lines. 

US Drug Prices Unlikely to Hurt Insurer/Supply Chain Margins

Changes currently being proposed concerning prescription drug rebates and pricing under Medicare/Medicaid are not expected to materially pressure margins or profits over the long term for US health insurers, drug companies, distributors and PBMs (pharmacy benefit managers).

UK Bulk Annuity Market Benefits From Strong Demand, Regulation

UK life insurers that write bulk purchase annuities (BPAs) continue to benefit from strong demand, with sales of BPAs this year likely to surpass last year's GBP24 billion, the highest yet.

Rating Action

Fitch Upgrades Sumitomo Life to 'A+'; Outlook Stable

Fitch has also affirmed the rating on its subordinated debt at 'A-'. The Under Criteria Observation status on the ratings has also been removed.


Also see these rating actions:

ESG Risks Limited For US Non-Life (Re)insurance Ratings

For US non-life companies, environmental issues can be particularly relevant given a significant number of individual carriers' underwriting exposure to natural catastrophe risk and latent asbestos and environmental losses. 

UK Motor Insurers Unable to Keep Pace With Rising Claim Costs

UK motor insurers' profit margins will remain under pressure as insurers struggle to increase premium rates to keep pace with rising claim costs. It is difficult to put up prices without losing business as the market is crowded and motor insurance is highly price-sensitive in the UK

Performance Turnaround Eludes MPL Insurance Market

After nearly a decade of underwriting outperformance, the medical professional liability insurance segment has lost some steam. James Auden and Gerry Glombicki assess whether the segment will regain its footing. (PDF Download)

rating action

Scottish Widows on Rating Watch Negative

LBG's RWN reflects heightened uncertainty over the ultimate outcome of the Brexit process and an increased risk that a disruptive 'no-deal' Brexit on UK banks. The UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place, either in March or at the end of a short extension, could result in negative action on the UK banks, most likely with Negative Outlooks being assigned. 

Webinar on Demand

Slovenian Insurance Market Update

Fitch Ratings held a webcast on the Slovenian Insurance market. This follows our recently published Slovenian Insurance Dashboard. Key discussion points include market overview and outlook.
Speakers: Ralph Ehrhardt, Director, European Insurance team, and Christoph Schmitt, Director, European Insurance team

Listen Now

Credit Outlook 2019

Hong Kong Credit Outlook Event 2019

Jeffrey Liew, Head of Asia Pacific Insurance, Fitch Ratings discusses insurers’ appetite to invest in alternative investments in APAC in 2019 at the Credit Outlook conference in Hong Kong.


Some highlights including:

  • Insurers’ Appetite to Invest in Alternative Investment in APAC in 2019
  • Salient Risk for APAC in 2019
  • The Challenges and Opportunities for LGFVs and its Transformation in 2019
  • China Property Market Outlook in 2019
  • Trend of Deleveraging in China
  • The role of SOEs in China economy going forward

View more

ESG Risk

Introducing ESG Relevance Scores for Financial Institutions

Nearly 20% of global financial institution ratings are currently influenced by governance risk according to an analysis of new Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Relevance Scores. ESG risks overall have a low level of direct impact on financial institution credit ratings. The scores cover over 900 banks, non-bank financial institutions and insurance companies around the globe. Download our ESG Financial Institutions special report to learn more

Webinar on Demand

ESG Relevance Scores for Financial Institutions

In this webinar, Fitch analysts from Insurance, Banks and NBFI, provided a detailed overview of our approach to ESG, our analytical framework, and the deliverables that are available to market participants. Listen Now

Download ESG Relevance Scores for Insurance

For insurance companies, Fitch has assigned ESG Relevance Scores across its internationally-rated portfolio. Review all of the scores here:

ESG Relevance Scores for Insurance Companies

UK Rating Watch Negative No Immediate Threat to Insurer Ratings

The Brexit-driven Rating Watch Negative (RWN) on the UK does not imply an immediate threat to the ratings of UK insurance companies. A one-notch sovereign downgrade would not, in itself, trigger insurer downgrades, and there is no automatic sovereign cap under our insurance rating criteria. 

Special Report

US Life Insurers' Investments More Risky Since Financial Crisis

U.S. life insurers' investment portfolios have become modestly more risky since the global financial crisis. Our analysis shows that a deterioration in corporate bond ratings as severe as that in 2009 would weaken two key rating metrics for the U.S. life sector - the RBC ratio and the risky asset ratio - by a rating category, increasing the likelihood of downgrades for some insurers.



Keith Buckley

Analytical Group Head

+1 312 368 3211


Jeff Liew


+852 2263 9939


Harish Gohil


+44 20 3530 1257


Eduardo Recinos


+503 2516 6606

North America

Julie Burke


+1 312 368 3158


David Turner

Business Relationship Head

+44 203 530 1442


Mee Ryung Song


+822 3278 8364


Diego Alcazar


+1 212 908-0396

North America

Brad Istwan


+1 312 368 3197

Fitch Updates Terms of Use & Privacy Policy

We have updated our Terms of Use and Privacy Policies which cover all of Fitch Group's websites. Learn more.