Axis’ Tizzio: E&S rates show “continued firming” in response to loss cost trends and nat cats

Axis is looking to grow its E&S books as it continues to expand its wholesale division, supported by firming rates stemming from an uptick in nat cat losses and loss cost trends, the company’s Vincent Tizzio has said.

Speaking to The Insurer TV, Axis’ specialty insurance and reinsurance CEO said an increase in natural catastrophe losses, coupled with a rise in loss cost trends, is forcing rates to firm in the E&S sector.

“All indications are certainly favouring a continuance of not only the inflow of business into the channel, but also because of natural catastrophe losses, the increasing uncertainty surrounding loss cost trends, there will be a sustained pricing environment in certain lines that lends itself to continued firming,” Tizzio said.

Axis recently launched a new platform to support its wholesale channel amid plans to grow in the US E&S space.

Tizzio noted that this division was launched in September to streamline the carrier’s growth in the E&S sector, as it had already had a footprint in the space for a long time. Axis’ wholesale division is led by Carlton Maner as CEO.

“We felt that was a perfect time to bring a greater sense of product breadth under Carlton Maner’s discretion and management. Secondly, we wanted to meet that growing channel’s new inflow of business in an effective way,” Tizzio added.

But even though there are numerous opportunities in this segment, there are also some challenges facing the market between wholesalers and the insurance companies that serve this market.

For Tizzio, it is important to work closely with clients to understand their needs and to communicate the pricing and terms for the services being provided.

“One [challenge] is to meet the needs, both in the competency of the product that we bring to market but also the service associated, to provide as much informativeness around our term condition posture, our pricing posture, and also to make certain that we’re covering the difficult discussions around what is and is not covered by our policies with explicit detail,” Tizzio noted.

“It’s an obligation we owe the retailers that are trusting this channel of distribution,” he concluded.

In this four-minute interview, Tizzio discusses:

  • Current E&S market conditions
  • The carrier’s recently launched wholesale platform
  • How market conditions differ across Axis’ different business units