Financial and Market Conditions
Source: www.iii.org Jan/2006 (Adapted)
Many forces affect the price, availability and security of the insurance product. Some are external, such as changes in interest rates and the stock market, regulatory activity, the number and severity of natural disasters, growth in litigation and rising medical costs. Others are internal, such as the level of competition
The insurance industry is cyclical. Rates and profits fluctuate depending on the phase of the cycle, particularly in commercial coverages. The profitability cycle may be somewhat different for different types of insurance. While the industy as a whole experienced one of its best years in recent history in 2004 and in the first half of 2005, losses associated with Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma may wipe out the profits of many insurers and force some to raise additional capital. None of the major companies are likely to become insolvent, however.
In paragraph 2, the insurance industry is described as cyclical. Thus, it is characterized by elements which