Firms get aggressive in efforts to stay on top

Corporate markets have been defined by soft rates for at least the past seven years. With competition so fierce, the markets have seen a lot of people-poaching.

The drive to get top senior teams in place to win big new accounts and defend market share has led to aggressive head-hunting as insurers and brokers raid rivals’ talent.

Financial turmoil from 2007 onwards has caused upheaval too. AIG’s bailout was blamed for flooding even more capacity into the markets.

Several other large corporate lines businesses were restructured after the crunch, adding to the issue.

New business regulation from the FSA and Europe has driven demand for lines like directors’ and officers’ and employers’ liability. No-win, no-fee has added to that trend, too, by ushering in a more litigious mindset.

Massive earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan hit earlier this year, bringing a slew of claims. One side-effect of the events has been to spark interest in business interruption lines, after major and unexpected supply chain disruptions related to the quakes.

Despite the big payouts, the fiercely competitive climate shows no signs of change.

To read the full timeline, click on the pdf link, right.