Exclusive insight and analysis from Insurance Times, Strategic Risk and Global Reinsurance

Capital is a key issue for insurers. With balance sheets hit by investment losses and high levels of claims, the industry is looking for new capital to repair the damage and take advantage of hardening rates. This month Insurance Agenda looks at the options (page 2).

These capital pressures are also likely to increase the amount of business put into run-off (page 4). Insurers will also be looking to acquire businesses so excess capital is used more efficiently or capital levels boosted. Expect to see interest from overseas buyers in the UK insurance market as asset prices fall and rates begin to turn. But acquisitions need to be handled carefully to be successful (page 3).

There were high expectations that 2008 would be a significant year for cat bonds. But after a promising start, the market stalled in the second half of the year. David Sandham looks at the prospects for 2009 (page 5).

The industry’s block exemption from European competition law may expire next year, which has raised concerns that the subscription insurance market will be investigated. But, as Nathan Skinner examines, an alternative to traditional subscription placement has been used with apparent success (page 6).

Finally, flooding continues to be a big issue for the insurance industry. Lauren MacGillivray looks at the key challenges ahead (page 7).