Best’s Market Segment Report: European Big Four Reinsurers’ Appetite for Property Catastrophe Reduced but Not Lost

AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#insurance–Ahead of the annual Rendez-Vous de Septembre in Monte Carlo, AM Best’s analysis of the European big four reinsurers – Munich Re, Swiss Re, Hannover Re and SCOR – reveals improving financial performance after a challenging 2020, though significant headwinds remain in both life and non-life segments.

A new Best’s Market Segment Report, “Global Reinsurance – The European Big Four,” notes that the absence of significant adverse development from non-life COVID-19 losses contributed to an improved combined ratio for the Big Four in 2021. Nevertheless, the five-year average combined ratio remains elevated, reflecting a period with significant natural catastrophe and man-made losses. Life reinsurance performance continues to be adversely affected by excess mortality, particularly from U.S. exposures.

AM Best’s report also examines the Big Four’s role in the evolving global reinsurance market. It notes that while a number of other reinsurers have stated their intention to curtail their property catastrophe exposure, or even exit this line altogether, Munich Re, Swiss Re and Hannover Re have a more positive view on the price adequacy and growth opportunities in the property catastrophe reinsurance segment – aiming for targeted growth supported by hardening conditions and premium rate increases.

To access a complimentary copy of this market segment report, please visit

The report will also be included in AM Best’s annual global reinsurance report, which contains its latest ranking of the Top 50 global reinsurance groups and in-depth looks at the insurance-linked securities, Lloyd’s, life reinsurance and regional reinsurance markets. Please visit Best’s Research for this and other reinsurance-related reports.

Lastly, AM Best will host its annual reinsurance market briefing at Rendez-Vous de Septembre on 11 September at 10:15 a.m. (CEST), at the Hermitage Hotel in Monte Carlo. For more information, please visit

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specialising in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit

Copyright © 2022 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Mathilde Jakobsen
Director, Analytics
+31 20 308 5427

Ghislain Le Cam
Director, Analytics
+44 20 7397 0268

Richard Banks
Director, Industry Research – EMEA
+44 20 7397 0322

Edem Kuenyehia
Director, Market Development & Communications – EMEA & AP
+44 20 7397 0280

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