Natural catastrophes and global reinsurance - exploring the linkages

10 December 2012

Natural disasters resulting in significant losses have become more frequent in recent decades, with 2011 being the costliest year in history. Sebastian von Dahlen (International Association of Insurance Supervisors) and Goetz von Peter (BIS) explore how risk is transferred within and beyond the global insurance sector and assess the financial linkages that arise in this process. While most of the risk is retained within the global insurance market, part is transferred through retrocession and securitisation to other financial institutions and the broader financial market. These links appear small, but little is known about who exactly ultimately bears the corresponding risks, as no comprehensive international statistics exist.

JEL classification: G22, L22, Q54