Leading credit insurance and surety insurers and their reinsurers met in Switzerland from June 11-13, 2003 under the banner of the International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) where they discussed the main issues that affect this industry following the economic developments over the past 12 months. The meeting took place while the sector experiences heightened awareness of credit and credit risk.
Members of ICISA reviewed the various challenges the sector faces. These include the effects of the Basle II Accord on this sector of the insurance industry. Changing capital allocation requirements are reasons to review risk portfolios.
ICISA also invited rating agencies, research and management experts to join the discussions. Representatives from the Berne Union, the International Factors Group, the International Surety Association, the Pan-American Surety Association and the Surety Association of America took part as well.
ICISA reported its success in having the industry’s wishes incorporated into the proposed new International Accounting Standards (IASB).
ICISA members showed increased premium growth and a return to profit, after several loss-making years for most of the players. This is a result of stricter underwriting as well as improved trading conditions in many countries. A sluggish economic recovery for the USA this year also contributed. Economic growth in Europe is not expected before 2004.
Claims ratios have improved as well, indicating a lower level of bankruptcies in most countries.
This, the 61st general meeting of the association, was hosted by Converium, Swiss Re and Winterthur.