What Is Reinsurance: How Reinsurance works & Reinsurance Companies

Reinsurance in insurance for life company/example
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Generally, individuals rely on their insurance provider to pay a portion of their medical expenditures in the event of a claim. But what happens if an insurance firm suffers significant losses as a result of a disaster? This is the gap a reinsurance company will help fill. Simply put, reinsurance is insurance cover for insurance companies. When enrollees or subscribers have high-cost claims, insurance companies pay a share of the insurer’s medical expenditures. So are you willing to know more about reinsurance in the insurance world, a life insurance reinsurance company as well as a case study or example? You can take the first step by reading this article.

What is Reinsurance?

Reinsurance simply means insurance for insurance firms. Generally, when an insurance company provides a policy, it takes on the obligation of covering the costs of any accidents or unforeseen circumstances that may occur. Likewise, an insurer needs to have in place sufficient capital to settle any potential claims arising in the future relating to the plans it offers according to the law. However, there may be a reduction in the total amount of capital an insurer must retain if it finds a way to minimize its obligation or risk, for all these claims by transferring portions of such burden or liability to another insurer.

It is purchased by primary insurers directly from reinsurers, brokers, or a reinsurance middleman. Transferring risk does not only protects insurers from possibly going bankrupt but also enables them to expand their customer base of high-risk customers. At the same time, insurers will have far more flexibility in their plans as well as coverage as a result of this situation (shared risk). Typically, the primary company is said to “cede” business to a reinsurer. In this case,  the primary insurer is the firm that officially issues the policy. Nevertheless, reinsurers must be stable financially in order to be able to meet their responsibilities to ceding insurers. This is according to US regulations.

On the contrary, according to the Reinsurance Association of America, insurance for insurance firms dates back to the 14th century. This is at a time when it was utilized for maritime as well as wildfire insurance. Generally, an insurance company purchases reinsurance directly from a reinsurer or via a broker or middleman by a ceding. Nevertheless, there are companies in the United States that deal in providing reinsurance, as well as its divisions within primary insurance companies.

How does It work?

If a single insurance firm is to bear the risk or liability alone, the expense might cripple or financially collapse such a provider. In this case, an individual insurance firm can nevertheless take on customers with a coverage that will probably be too much for an insurer to manage alone by spreading or transferring risk. However,  whenever reinsurance is in play, all of the insurance firms participating usually split the policyholder’s premium among themselves

Typically, the Reinsurance Association of America is an insurance sector trade organization. So, the organization represents members in state, federal, and worldwide arenas. Primary insurers reduce the danger of financial disaster by purchasing their own reinsurance coverage.

However, States regulate the reinsurance business to ensure that their residents get coverage in the event of unforeseen losses. Consider a gigantic tornado that wreaks havoc on regions of Oklahoma and causes billions of dollars in damage as an example.

Risk Transfer

A risk transfer agreement is a contract that happens between a particular insurance company and a reinsurance business.  However, the insurance company will have to settle the reinsurance business so as to assume responsibility for any potential losses or damages.


In this case, the insurance company may well be driven or encouraged to acquire reinsurance due to arbitrage. However, arbitrage is when an insurer purchases a policy that is far less expensive than that of the one they charge the policyholder for the underlying risk.

Capital Management

Generally, it is a capital management method that insurance firms employ to manage risk and at the same time maximize capital.

Solvency Margins

This has to do with the ability of the insurance business to meet unforeseen expenses. Reinsurance may probably act as a safety net. This is by providing insurance companies with additional money as well as security in the event of a catastrophic occurrence.


The reinsurer is able to determine a suitable premium for a particular risk. Therefore, the reinsurance company can provide specific knowledge to the insurance business. In addition, the reinsurer can offer risk management advice.

Types of Reinsurance

Basically, there are two types of reinsurance:

Treaty Reinsurance

Treaty reinsurance, often known as mandatory reinsurance, is a contract existing between the main insurer and the reinsurer. Generally, primary insurers relinquish certain risks to reinsurers under treaty reinsurance. Nevertheless, this type frequently encompasses a complete policy package, such as automobile coverage.

Facultative Reinsurance

In contrast to treaty reinsurance, facultative reinsurance necessitates coverage for each identified risk. Hurricanes and skyscrapers are typical examples of high-risk events and property covered by facultative reinsurance.

In general, treaty and facultative reinsurance are both classified under one of the two types of agreements. First is in a situation whereby primary insurers and reinsurers share all together with the premiums as well as possible losses. That is under a proportional agreement.  On the other hand,  in a non-proportional arrangement, the primary insurer is responsible for losses. The primary insurer will shoulder the losses up to a certain level. However, the reinsurers will take over and be responsible for losses above the primary insurer’s limit or capacity.

What is a Reinsurance Company?

Generally, saying a reinsurance company simply means saying a reinsurer. So, what is a reinsurer? A reinsurer is a firm that protects insurance companies financially. However, a reinsurer takes on risks that insurance firms cannot handle on their own. Thus allowing insurers to take on more business than they would otherwise be able to. Primary insurers might also retain less money on hand to cover future losses thanks to the reinsurer. On the contrary, there is a provision for a reinsurance company to also acquire reinsurance itself. This term is however known as “retrocession”

What Company Sell Reinsurance?

Reinsurers aren’t just available in the United States. Generally, since insurance is one global industry, most of the world’s largest reinsurers collaborate with various primary insurers all over the globe.

Below here, We identify some of the biggest reinsurance companies:

  • Swiss Re
  • Berkshire Hathaway
  • Munich Re
  • Lloyd’s
  • Reinsurance Group of America
  • Hannover Ruck Se
  • China Reinsurance Group
  • SCOR Se
  • Korean Reinsurance Company
  • Great-West Lifeco

It is safe to argue that an insurance company minimizes the cost of their policy premiums through the sharing of risk exposure with many of these reinsurers. Overall, reinsurance is a dependable risk management tool that helps to calm worldwide insurance markets, while also keeping prices low.

What is Reinsurance in Life Insurance?

Life reinsurance is the transfer of some or all of an insurance risk to another insurer by a life insurance company. In other words, reinsurance in life insurance is the transfer of some or all of an insurance risk to another insurer by a life insurance company. However, this enables life insurance firms to diversify their perils, lower liabilities, and also raise their assets. Likewise, the risks associated with practically every product a life insurer sells are assumed by life reinsurers.

Put another way, life reinsurance is an insurance technique in which a single Life insurance firm buys its own insurance policy to protect itself against a large loss. However, anytime a major percentage of their business is at risk owing to a similar loss event, this option is frequently put to practice. This additional risk is accepted by the second insurance company or reinsurer. And it will however undertake to reimburse them for the portion of any claim that was previously reinsured.

Nevertheless, a life insurance company will typically purchase reinsurance purposefully for reasons like:

  • Putting a cap on the amount of money you can lose if you’re hit by a certain risk.
  • In order to stop their losses from getting worse.
  • Protecting themselves against potential disasters.
  • Expanding their ability to accept new clients.

Reinsurance allows insurance firms to maintain premiums affordable for their customers. And also allows them to stay in business when losses are prevalent in their region.

What is a Reinsurance Example

Generally, when talking about reinsurance, there will be examples that can be referenced. The example may however fall under one or another of the different types and agreements of reinsurance. Lets a look at two examples:

Example Under Facultative Reinsurance

Let’s say a conventional insurance company writes an insurance policy on one substantial piece of real estate business. This may be in the form of a big enterprises office complex. This policy is probably worth $25 million, this, in the long run, means that the primary insurance company could be liable for $25 million. This however is in a situation whereby the structure is severely damaged. However, the underwriter in the first place must have anticipated that it will probably be unable to pay out more than $15 million. So, before having an agreement with the policyholder to issue the policy, the primary insurer must however hunt for a reinsurance(facultative). And thus explore the marketplace till the moment it finds one that fills or occupies the remaining $10 million. The insurer may receive $10 million in parts from ten different reinsurers.

Nevertheless, It will be a big mistake to consent to issue the policy without all this. However, once it has this kinda agreement in place from the companies to cover the $10 million and at the same time sure that it can possibly cover the entire sum if there is a claim, then it can issue the policy.

Example Under Treaty Reinsurance

A reinsurer may have an agreement to protect 70 percent of the primary insurance company vehicle insurance package down to a maximum of $100 million. Typically, this implies that the ceding organization does not have coverage for the very first $100 million in vehicle insurance that was purchased. This is under this agreement, which meanwhile amounts to $30 million. Thus, the ceding insurer’s retention limit will be $30 million. However, unless the contract arrangement comes out of the surplus, the ceding insurer withholds $30million out of the initial $100 million along with the whole of the following $100 million. Nevertheless, this is if it issues a $200 million automotive coverage policy.

NOTE: Reinsurance policy costs are significantly smaller in the case of larger retention limitations.

What Distinguishes Insurance from Reinsurance?

Reinsurance is a contract between two parties, both of whom are insurance companies, as opposed to insurance, which is between insurance companies and individuals.

How Is Reinsurance Profitable?

A prorated amount of each policy premium that the insurer sells is given to the reinsurer under proportional reinsurance. A pre-negotiated percentage of the losses are assumed by the reinsurer for each claim. Additionally, the reinsurer pays the insurer’s processing, business development, and writing expenses.

What Kind of Insurance Is Reinsurance?

a claim-reimbursement system that guards against extremely high claims. Once the claims reach a particular threshold, a third party will often pay a portion of the insurance company’s claims. An insurance market can be stabilized through reinsurance, which both increases coverage options and lowers costs.

What Elements Have an Impact on Reinsurance?

According to the findings, factors influencing demand for reinsurance include product variety, profitability, loss volatility, reinsurance price, and the financial stability of the reinsurance business.


Generally, reinsurance helps insurance companies in a great way. This is by providing means or methods of reducing a company’s risk or vulnerability to a disastrous event. If a single insurer took on the risk in itself, the expense could probably bankrupt or financially cripple such a company. Reinsurance businesses provide coverage to other insurers to protect them from certain situations. Situations in which the conventional insurer has not adequate funds to cover all of the claims under its stated policies.


What is the difference between reinsurance and insurance?

Insurance and reinsurance are similar in many ways. Insurance is purchased to provide protection from covered losses; reinsurance guards the insurance company against too many losses. They both contractually transfer the cost of the loss to the company issuing the policy.

How does a reinsurer make money?

Reinsurance companies make money by reinsuring policies that they think are less speculative than expected.

Is reinsurance a profitable business?

Reinsurers, for the most part, maintained profits in 2016, but predominantly through lack of large U.S. catastrophe losses, capital management tactics, and by being able to take advantage of favorable development on older business rather than through rate growth or new sources of reinsurance premium.

What is the largest reinsurance company?

It was found that the German reinsurer Munich Re was the largest reinsurer worldwide in 2020. The net premiums written by Munich Re amounted to approximately 43.1 billion U.S. dollars.

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