2017 saw the Marine market awash with capacity with the resultant excessive competition for all lines of business, especially cargo given its long-standing reputation for profitability coupled with the added benefit of being short tail.
There was considerable surprise and disappointment in many quarters that the multiple events of 2017, most notably Hurricane Maria, did not produce an upturn in Marine market pricing and a change in restrictions on terms and conditions. The final loss figures for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Marina are still unresolved, however estimates for insured losses are expected to be circa USD100bn. Although the yacht/pleasure craft book in the region has been essentially wiped out for many years to come, capacity in the Marine market appears largely unconcerned by the events of 2017.
It is expected that there will be some strategic repositioning in the appetites and capacity of the market, predominantly Lloyd’s, in 2018 in an attempt to improve profitability. The predominance of both facilities and binders continues to be under review as results for these subclasses of Marine business continue to deteriorate due to the lack of rigorous oversight and control.
Lloyd’s remains the dominant single market force, although the non-Lloyd’s market continues to exert strong influence on business, although results for the larger players are on a par with Lloyd’s and will need a strong hand to return them to long term profitability.
Barents launched its Marine business in the first half of 2017. Following an encouraging start and very favourable reaction from the wider Marine market, we fully expect our Marine business to go from strength to strength in 2018.