04 Nov 2022
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published today its Risk Dashboard based on Solvency II data from the second quarter of 2022. The results show that insurers’ exposures to macro and market risks are currently the main concern for the insurance sector. All other risk categories, such as profitability and solvency, climate as well as digitalisation and cyber risks stay at medium levels.
Macro risks remain a key source of concern amid a further decrease in global GDP growth expectations and high CPI forecasts for the main geographical areas, even as unemployment remains low. The weighted average of 10 year swap rates increased. Central banks continue the normalisation of their monetary policy.
Market risks are currently at a high level. Volatility in bond and equity markets continue to top last year’s average. Property prices remain at the same level. Insurers’ median exposure to bonds and equity remain relatively unchanged while median exposure to property slightly increased in Q2 2022. Credit risks remain relatively moderate. CDS spreads remain at low levels for government bonds and financial bonds while further increasing for non-financial corporate bonds in the third quarter of 2022. Insurers’ relative exposure to different bonds categories remained broadly stable while slightly decreasing for government bonds in Q2. The median average credit quality of insurers’ investments remained stable.
Profitability and solvency risks remain constant with returns for insurers decreased in the second quarter of 2022 across all three return indicators (return on excess of aseets over liabilities, return on assets and return on premiums). The increase of interest rates since the beginning of 2022 may be the main driver behind insurers’ high SCR ratios.
Due to the current increase of interest rates, insurers booked market to market losses on derivatives given that they are typically positioned to hedge against interest rates declines.
Regarding market perceptions, insurance life and non-life stocks underperformed. The median price-to-earnings ratio of insurance groups is largely unchanged. The median of CDS spreads of insurers further increased even as insurers’ external ratings remained broadly stable since the last assessment.
On climate risks, insurers maintained their relative exposure to green bonds while the ratio of investments in green bonds over the total green bond outstanding slightly decreased. The growth of green bonds in insurers’ portfolios has decreased, while the growth of green bonds outstanding is stable.
The materiality of digitalisation and cyber risks for insurance as assessed by supervisors decreased slightly. Nevertheless, cyber security issues and concerns of a hybrid geopolitical conflict remain. The cyber negative sentiment indicates an increased concern in the third quarter of 2022 while the frequency of cyber incidents decreased compared to the same quarter last year.
This Risk Dashboard, based on Solvency II data, summarises the main risks and vulnerabilities in the European Union’s insurance sector through a set of risk indicators of the second quarter of 2022. The data is based on financial stability and prudential reporting collected from 94 insurance groups and 2198 solo insurance undertakings.