2018 was a year of retrenchment in the Financial Lines market with carriers employing more caution in the deployment of capacity, streamlining their appetite and narrowing their sector and product line focus. As carriers pared back their cover and capacity, significant rate increases ensued, notably in those sectors and territories warranting a long-overdue price correction.

Notwithstanding the corrective action taken by carriers, including some Financial Lines carriers exiting specific classes or the sector entirely and the resultant reduction in localised capacity, the competitive environment remained healthy amongst all parties active in the re/insurance arena.

In the year ahead, we expect a sustained focus on underwriting discipline and diligent risk selection at the expense of the pursuit of out-and-out top line growth. Furthermore, we envisage rate increases to continue in 2019, driven by the available capacity permitted by a more judicious underwriting community.

The Barents Re Financial Lines team has built long-standing relationships with brokers and insureds who value our experience, local market knowledge and strong service culture. With our significant capacity and deep sector knowledge, we are ideally placed to take advantage of Financial Lines opportunities as they arise in our specialist areas in 2019.