Barriers to Economic Recovery

Insurance executives see continued unemployment and increasing regulatory intervention as the largest barriers to economic recovery, according to an annual survey conducted by KPMG. The scarcity and high cost of capital was cited as the third largest barrier to overall economic recovery, even though nearly one third (31 percent) of executives indicate they don’t anticipate their company will need to access additional capital over the next 18 months. In the event their company did decide to access additional capital over the next 18 months, 22 percent said the most likely source would be equity while 17 percent said it would be debt. Despite the challenges surrounding access to capital, 73 percent of executives say they expect an increase in mergers and acquisitions when compared to the last 12 months. Asked to identify the most significant challenges they face in the next three to five years, 30 percent of respondents cited pricing risk, while 23 percent cited credit risk. Still, nearly half (48 percent) of the 271 executives surveyed at KPMG’s 21st annual Insurance Industry Conference, expect their company to perform ahead of expectations in the year ahead, compared to just 22 percent last year. Despite the optimism, executives continue to indicate that underwriting profit may be elusive in the next three years, with 64 percent seeing only a moderate ability to increase underwriting profit and more than a quarter (27 percent) describing the chance of increased profit as “weak.† Check out further I.I.I. information on financial results and market conditions.

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