WILL 2010 BE A HAPPY NEW YEAR?
Ah, that is the question. From all indications, last year was a pretty happy time, with markets enjoying non-hurricane prosperity, as well as a rebounding capital base. Of course, the proof will be in the proverbial pudding when the formal results are announced in the weeks ahead.
Speaking of the weeks and months ahead, whether they are happy or not will depend on a practitioner's role in the industry, but one thing for sure is the uncertainty of things to come, especially at this time of year. In any event, from this analyst's perspective, the following uncertainties bear watching:
Legislative Developments, especially in the areas of:
Financial Services Reform
Office of National Insurance
National Flood Insurance Program
State Reforms, including Contract Certainty requirements.
Market Developments in the areas of:
Continued downward pressure on rates
Further expansion of capacity
Budget pressure to retain more exposure for net account
Size and frequency of M&A deals
Greater or lesser interest in non-traditional coverage options
Miscellaneous items of curiosity and interest; namely,
Legislative developments in Florida
Domiciliary changes; e.g., from Bermuda to Switzerland and elsewhere
Resurrection for the New York Insurance Exchange
Hurricane frequency and severity.
Although this analyst can opine on the evolution of developments in these areas, much will obviously depend on circumstances over which he has no control. As with the beginning of most new years, it's more a matter of "wait and see," perhaps with fingers crossed in the meantime.
Best wishes to all in the months ahead!