RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd (NYSE:RNR) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jul 29, 2020 • 11:00 am ET


RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd (NYSE:RNR) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Kevin O'Donnell

price we paid for retro increased about 20% over 2019's midyear program.

And as expected, we purchased less limit than last year and at higher attachment points. That said, we are happy with our portfolio and believe that we're in a strong competitive position. Moving now to Casualty. The second quarter is a significant renewal period for our Casualty business, and we were able to execute our renewals in a precise and coordinated way. Like Property, rates were increasing across many Casualty lines prior to COVID-19, driven in part by loss cost inflation trends.

Increased uncertainty from COVID-19 is accelerating these pre-existing rate increases and rate continues to suppress trend in most lines, including general liability, umbrella, D&O, professional liability and cyber. The market has not experienced corrections of this magnitude in almost 20 years, with rate increase in the double-digit territory for many classes and well above what was anticipated at the beginning of the year. In addition, ceding commissions are reducing on many programs, amplifying the impact of rate increases.

Over the year, we have focused on building strong positions on high-quality casualty programs. We believe this puts us in an excellent position to benefit from underlying rate increases as the market improves as well as to grow on the best programs as others got back. With respect to COVID-19, we clearly articulated our risk appetite and our approach to exclusions. We were able to attain COVID-19 exclusion on many deals, and we're only comfortable renewing business without 1/1. The underlying policy contained COVID-19 exclusion.

The product was intended to cover losses from economic recession and was appropriately priced given the elevated uncertainty or where exposure was minimal. In several instances where we were not able to exclude COVID-19, we chose to walk away from business. Overall, however, we renewed our Casualty portfolio largely intact and with an improved margin. There has been some speculation in the market that COVID-19 will suppress loss cost inflation in 2020.

While this is possible, we believe that the underlying dynamics that led to this problem continue to exist. And to the extent it is currently muted, loss inflation will resurface as the pandemic subsides. In closing, we overcame a number of challenges to outperform both financially and operationally in the second quarter.

We exercised disciplined at the June one property renewal and continued to build a market-leading casualty book. Our COVID-19 risk remains manageable, and we experienced strong gains in our investment portfolio. Finally, we've begun the process of reopening our office, which we'll begin to execute slowly but deliberately.

And with that, I'll turn it over for questions.