Run-off market set to thrive in 2021

22 Feb 2021

Global Insurance Law Connect (GILC) has today launched the first run-off report, looking into the drivers of legacy business in both mature and emerging insurance markets. Specialist insurance law firms in 20 countries around the world have classified their local run-off market, in terms of both its maturity and direction of travel and looked at some of the dynamics behind these developments.

BLM Partner, Chris Fletcher commented: “This is a huge market which varies immensely in different countries and it is fascinating to get insights from such a wide variety of markets into the trends in the run-off sector.

“Probably the best summary of our findings is “growth held back by legislation”.  One universal truth is that in every market insurers are looking for opportunities to divest themselves of unwanted legacy portfolios.  While some of the exact drivers may differ, we see a common pattern: in markets where regulation permits portfolio transfers, creative solutions flourish, with multiple parties cooperating in flexible ways; and, very often, delivering a more positive outcome for all parties.

“And yet in many markets, run-off is an untested concept, and in more than one territory, our legal specialists told us that they believed the regulator would be willing to accept run-off transactions, but that insurers are unwilling to put themselves forward as the first ‘test case’.  As a result, there are a number of territories around the globe where transactions do not occur, in spite of the presence and interest of experts in the sector.

”In the more mature markets where activity is thriving, the reasons for this are multiple and varied.  COVID-19 has taken a toll of many international insurers’ reserves, changed the profitability of some significant lines of business; and forced everyone in the industry to examine contract wordings, both historic and current.  Brexit and the requirements of Solvency II and IFRS 17 also continue to act as drivers, while in the US, the increasing use of IBTs (Insurance Business Transfers) in different states is also driving ‘whole entity’ deal numbers.”

To download a copy of the report, please click here.

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Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to customers of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.

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