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A.M. BestTV: Global Uncertainty Affects Insurers' Finances, Says Swiss Re Chief Economist
[July 14, 2017]

A.M. BestTV: Global Uncertainty Affects Insurers' Finances, Says Swiss Re Chief Economist

In this A.M.BestTV episode, Kurt Karl, chief economist and head of economic research & consulting at Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd., said protectionism and shifting political fortunes increase the likelihood of change in individual markets, making it harder for insurers to accurately budget and invest. Click on to view the entire program.

"This year and next, the U.S. GDP real growth is and will be 2.2%," said Karl. "Not the 3% that we would all love to have, but better than last year's growth, which was only 1.6%. This growth, with a 4.5% unemployment rate, and a little bit of an uptick in inflation and wages, should get us a few rate hikes from the Federal Reserve."

Looking at Europe and Asia, Karl said he is concerned about the U.K.'s exit from the European Union; upcoming elections in the region; China's doubling its rate of growth of nominal GDP in debt and trade protectionism.

"If we get a lot of trade protection or a trade war it would decrease global growth enormously, so we are watching this very carefully," he said.

Recent episodes of A.M.BestTV include:

  • Cyber Coverage Goes It Alone: Fred Eslami, senior financial analyst, A.M. Best, discusses a recent Best's Special Report that examines how more insurers are writing cyber coverage on a stand-alone basis, as opposed to packaging it with other products:
  • 265 Years Later, a Revolutionary Idea Continues to Thrive: A look into the insurance roots of Philadelphia, PA, shows a city that begat an industry that helped support a nation's growth:
  • Insurers React to Changes to U.K. Discount Rate: A.M. Best Senior Director, Analytics Catherine Thomas, examines a recent Best's Briefing on changes in the Ogden rate, which is applied to claims for personal injury compensation in the U.K. These changes have forced some insurers to adjust their reserves and rates:
  • Insurers in the GCC Region Brace for Impact of New Tax: Aneela Mather-Khan, financial analyst, A.M. Best, examines a new report on the possible impacts a new value-added tax will have on the Gulf Cooperation Council member states' insurance markets:

A.M.BestTV covers exclusive A.M. Best information and reports, targeted topics and key developments in the (re)insurance industry every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Sign up for alerts of episodes at View A.M.BestTV episodes at

A.M. Best is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit

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