In 2020, the casualty insurance market in Korea grew by 8% despite a pandemic-triggered economic recession. Amid the hardening of the global casualty reinsurance market, renewal prices have been increasingly under upward pressure in the domestic market as well. Still, primary insurers continue to maintain their aggressive yet selective retention strategies due to favorable market returns.

Although those retention strategies by primary insurers worked against the domestic reinsurance industry, Korean Re reported a 12.7% increase in gross written premiums from casualty lines for 2020. Main drivers behind the growth were the growing volume of the domestic casualty insurance market and our rapidly expanding overseas business.

Special risks made up the largest part of our total casualty premiums at 28.6% in 2020, followed by liability lines of business at 23.8% and personal accidents at 14.3%. As we have consistently focused on writing more profitable business in the global markets, the share of overseas inward premiums jumped to 18.3% of the casualty portfolio. We will continue to identify target risks in a way that expands our global presence by employing both risk and market centered approaches.

As a result of steadily strengthened underwriting guidelines, we have improved our profitability. In particular, our bond insurance business maintained a stable loss ratio despite a deteriorating real economy, helping to bring profitable underwriting results to our overall casualty business.

We have also strengthened cooperation with our clients on product development so that we could support our clients effectively in response to evolving market trends. Our client engagement will be continuously enhanced to enable our clients to better respond to ongoing market developments accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with regard to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, growing demand for cyber security and increasing awareness of environmental sustainability.

Looking ahead to 2021 and beyond, the casualty reinsurance market in Korea may have to deal with an unprecedented level of uncertainty in the post-pandemic era. In spite of greater uncertainty, we will continue to seek profitable growth and stay dedicated to providing stable reinsurance capacity and services through our ceaseless efforts to improve our risk management and minimize the unexpected.

Gross Written Premiums: Casualty

(Units: KRW billion, USD million)

 FY 2020 (KRW) FY 2020 (USD) FY 2019 (KRW) FY 2019 (USD)
Liability 316.8 265.8 286.4 243.4
Personal Accidents 190.5 159.8 211.5 179.8
Surety & Credit 200.4 168.2 191.6 162.9
Special Risks & Others 381.0 319.7 327.8 278.6
Overseas Inward Business 243.0 203.9 164.3 139.7
Total 1,331.7 1,117.4 1,181.5 1,004.3

✽ Individual figures may not add up to the final shown due to rounding.