Property/casualty insurance executives overwhelmingly predict growth in both cyber insurance and M&A activity in 2015, according to a new Insurance Information Institute annual survey.

I.I.I.’s survey, conducted at its 19th annual Property/Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum, also revealed expectations for another growth year for equity markets. Industry leaders expect growth in the combined ratio, however.

Here are some of the major survey results in detail:

  • Nearly 80 percent of respondents said commercial insurers could experience major growth in cyber insurance over the coming year, where just 20 percent disagreed.
  • A whopping 92 percent say M&A activity for both insurers and reinsurers will increase in 2015, echoing expectations and analysts’ predictions that have been sounding a similar message since late 2014.
  • About 74 percent said they expect combined ratios to be higher in 2015 compared to 2014, compared to 26 percent who predicted otherwise.
  • 78 percent of respondents said that industry capacity (as measured by policyholder surplus) will increase. Just 4 percent expect a decrease and 18 percent said capacity will remain flat.
  • About 36 percent of respondents said 2015 premium growth will be higher in 2015 compared to 2014, and 18 percent said premium growth would be lower. Nearly half – 46 percent – said premium growth will be flat compared to the previous year.
  • Reflecting concerns about federal government encroachment into insurance regulation, 72 percent of respondents said they believe the federal government wants further expansion of its regulatory oversight authority over the industry. Just 28 percent disagreed.

Source: I.I.I.