Insurance-linked securities or ILS are single- or multiple-tranche securitisations facilitating the transfer of risk from the insurance sector to the capital markets. This transfer of risk usually references either catastrophe risk or life risk, though there have been securitisations of other insurance risk, such as motor. Catastrophe risk deals involve the transfer from one party to another of natural catastrophe risk, typically from non-life insurers or reinsurers via the capital markets to investors. It is facilitated by a variety of instruments, chief among them are catastrophe bonds or cat bonds; catastrophe risk obligations (CROs), which utilise collateralised debt obligation (CDO) technology to transfer risk to investors in multiple tranches; and industry loss warranty (ILW) based structures. Life risk transfer involves the transfer of longevity, mortality and pandemic risk from one party to another, typically from life insurers or life reinsurers via the capital markets to investors. Chief among the products used in this sector are life securitisations; life settlement securitisation; and longevity and mortality bonds.
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