After Katrina: What Now for the Insurance Industry?

by Donald Light, September 19, 2005


San Francisco, CA, USA September 19, 2005


Will Katrina change the insurance industry in fundamental ways? Have loss patterns changed from "small and frequent" and "large and infrequent" to "very large and not infrequent?"

In a new report, " ?" Celent examines the immediate and long-term implications of Katrina and describes best-case and worse-case scenarios of its impact on the insurance industry and select insurance providers.

In the near term, insurers will raise rates and tighten terms, and public insurance programs will expand, according to Celent. In the long term, there may be fundamental changes to the insurance industry痴 business model including: transforming capital requirements, new pricing methods, and a different approach to underwriting and claims. The report also describes the role that technology can play to support these changes and outlines the implications for insurers and technology vendors.

According to Donald Light, Celent analyst and author of the report, "The human and economic consequences of Hurricane Katrina are still unfolding, but what is already clear is that Katrina is not just another big storm. Even in these early days, the unprecedented scale of Katrina and its aftermath demands a look at the longer-term implications for the insurance industry."

Light continued, "Katrina was a very ill wind indeed. But in addition to physical and financial ruin, Katrina also has brought tough but meetable challenges for insurers, and real business opportunities for certain technology vendors."

The figure below shows how the property/casualty industry痴 capital adequacy has fluctuated in the years prior to Katrina. The report goes on to discuss how Katrina will impact the industry痴 capital going forward.

The 26-page report contains three figures and three tables.

of Celent's Property/Casualty Insurance and Life/Health Insurance research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact for more information.


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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents


San Francisco, CA, USA September 19,  2005


Return to report Abstract

Executive Summary 3
Introduction 4
The Financial Impact 5
Operational Responses 11
Political Responses 13
Is Everything on the Table? 15
The Role of Technology 20
The Impact on Life & Health Insurance 23
Conclusions 24
Objectivity & Methodology 25

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