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Best’s Market Segment Report: Catastrophe Bonds Lift a Muted Insurance-Linked Securities Market

Prevailing market conditions have enabled the insurance-linked securities (ILS) market to secure advantageous terms and conditions for renewed and new programs, leading to a significant increase in yields for funds as well as catastrophe bonds, according to a new AM Best report.

The Best’s Market Segment Report, “Cat Bonds Lift a Muted ILS Market,” is part of AM Best’s look at the global reinsurance industry ahead of the Rendez-Vous de Septembre in Monte Carlo. Other reports, including AM Best’s annual ranking of the Top 50 global reinsurance groups and in-depth looks at the life/annuity, health, Lloyd’s and regional reinsurance markets, will be available during August and September.

According to this report, catastrophe bond issuance in first-half 2023 reached a record of approximately USD 9.7 billion, which already surpasses the total for 2022. The size of the cat bond market has grown consistently for the last five years and remains one of the bright spots in the ILS market. This has helped to lift overall ILS market capacity by approximately USD 3 billion since the beginning of the year to approximately USD 99 billion, as estimated by AM Best in conjunction with Guy Carpenter. At the same time, net capacity provided by the ILS market is lower than USD 99 billion due to an unknown amount of trapped capital, and despite the prospect of higher returns, capital formation remains tepid due to a number of factors.

“The dearth of capital injections into the reinsurance market and the resulting supply shortfall has meant that many insurers were unable to fill their requested covers from reinsurers except at exorbitant prices during the year,” said Wai Tang, senior director, insurance-linked securities, AM Best. “At year end, the cat bond and collateralized reinsurance markets may be met with pent-up demand for reinsurance cover among cedents that didn’t have room in their budgets to purchase as much reinsurance coverage as they would have liked at the January or July 2023 renewal periods.”

AM Best expects the ILS market to remain hard if heightened cedent demand for capacity is met with overall reinsurance capital levels that are relatively flat.

“Whether higher returns posted by the ILS asset class begin to attract additional capital remains an open question,” said Emmanuel Modu, managing director, insurance-linked securities, AM Best. “Industry observers have noted that ILS investors are likely focused on other, more familiar asset classes that offer higher expected returns with greater liquidity and perhaps less volatility.”

To access the full copy of this market segment report, please visit

For future global reinsurance reports ahead of Rendez-Vous de Septembre, please visit Best’s Research.

Lastly, AM Best will host its annual reinsurance market briefing at Rendez-Vous de Septembre on Sept. 10, 2023, at 10:15 a.m. (CEST) in Monte Carlo. For more information, please visit

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit

Copyright © 2023 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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