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Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance company, has estimated insurance losses emanating from natural catastrophes at $120 billion in 2021. This sum places the year equal second as the most costly year for the industry, alongside 2005, the year of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma and 2011, which featured earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand. The costliest year for insurers and reinsurers remains 2017, with three large hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria, causing devastation in parts of the USA and the Caribbean Islands and a total insurance cost of $146 billion. 


The reinsurance renewal season at the beginning of each year is an important bellwether in the underwriting cycle. Many Lloyd’s underwriters would argue that the importance of this year end process has diminished over time, with the round renewals for Far Eastern and regional US programmes in the second quarter of the year at least as important as those a 1 January; while direct and facultative business can and does have renewal dates throughout the year. Nonetheless, there were important renewals for international and US business at 1 January 2022.