Despite challenging market conditions, Global Specialty achieved solid financial performance and continued to expand its highly successful global specialty lines insurance and reinsurance business. Although 2013 was generally benign from a U.S. catastrophe point of view, there were significant losses from floods in Canada and Central Europe, Tropical Cyclone Oswald in Australia and severe hailstorms in Germany.
To provide brokers and clients with easier access to an extensive global specialty product offering, Liberty Specialty Markets was created in mid-2013 by integrating Liberty Syndicates, Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe and Liberty Mutual Reinsurance. Operating as one organization — with a combined gross written premium of nearly $3.5 billion — that sells a broad range of specialty and commercial insurance and reinsurance products, Liberty Specialty Markets leverages scale, talent and best practices to provide higher value to brokers and clients.
Global Specialty is building out new and existing products and markets, including its Global Accident & Health (A&H) business that began in 2012. In the U.S., the A&H team has been completing the regulatory approval process for Group Accident and Blanket products — targeting new markets such as amateur sports, schools and business travel — and is developing filings for the Affinity marketplace for individual accident, individual critical illness and other supplemental coverages.
With its pending acquisition of Primero Fianzas — the fifth-largest Mexican surety company, specializing in administrative and credit bonds — Global Specialty provides a platform for Liberty Mutual's entrance into Mexico, a growing and profitable insurance market.
In 2013, Global Specialty continuously improved its analytic capabilities and tools to better inform business decisions — a formidable task considering the complex, variable and unique risks of the specialty lines businesses. The structure and maturity of the business provided the opportunity to align methodologies across the business by identifying best practices and increasing consistency. The SBU began developing a pricing risk management framework and predictive modeling tools to refine underwriting decision-making and began using key performance indicators from the claims system to support improved claims handling.
To further strengthen collaboration across Global Specialty, Liberty Specialty Markets in London and Liberty International Underwriters in New York both secured new office space, which will bring employees together over the coming year and support the SBU's future growth plans.
“In 2014, Global Specialty will focus on client needs and enhancing profit and return on capital by making optimal use of expertise and resources across the organization, as well as ensuring local best-in-class execution,” said Global Specialty President Christopher L. Peirce.