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Retrocession refers to the practice where a company transfers a portion of its risk to another company to protect itself from large claims or a high volume of claims. It is common in the insurance industry, especially in reinsurance, where an insurance company passes on part of a risk it has insured to a secondary company. This technique helps manage risk and stabilize finances by sharing the potential for large losses.


The phonetics of the keyword “Retrocession” can be represented as /ˌrɛtrəʊˈsɛʃən/.

Key Takeaways

Sure, here are three main takeaways about Retrocession:“`html

  1. Retrocession is a financial practice where insurance policies are transferred from one company to another to diversify the risk and minimize the damage of potential loss.
  2. The company that is transferring the risk through a retrocession is known as the ceding company, while the company accepting the risk is referred to as the retrocessionnaire.
  3. Retrocession plays an essential role in strengthening an insurance company’s financial stability, thereby enhancing its risk-taking capacity.

“` This practice is fundamentally significant in the world of reinsurance.


Retrocession is an important term in business/finance because it plays a crucial role in managing risk in the insurance sector. It refers to the practice where an insurance company transfers part of its risk to a reinsurance company to protect itself from large potential claims. This allows the primary insurer to reduce its risk exposure by sharing the potential loss with another entity. As the overall risk is disseminated and not concentrated on a single insurer, it improves the financial stability of the insurance market. Thus, retrocession is a critical part of strategic planning in insurance, as it helps to maintain a balance between underwritten policies and the capacity to pay out when claims are lodged.


Retrocession serves as a risk management tool, often utilized by reinsurance companies in the financial and insurance sectors. Its primary purpose is to mitigate potential financial risks that may arise in the insurance sector. Essentially, it is a technique that reinsurance companies use to pass on parts of the risks they have taken from insurance companies to other reinsurance companies, or retrocessionaires, to keep their own risk exposure at manageable levels and maintain financial stability. In essence, retrocession is a kind of reinsurance for reinsurers. By effectively distributing the potential risks, it allows reinsurance companies to have enough financial cushion to pay out claims, especially in case of catastrophic events that lead to large numbers of claims. As a result, it helps keep the insurance and reinsurance markets stable by avoiding the possibility of financial ruin for these companies and also aids these corporations to maintain their solvency ratios in sync with regulatory requirements.


1. Insurance Industry: Retrocession is most commonly used in the reinsurance industry. Here, a reinsurance company might find that they have taken on too much risk and want to spread some of it. They would do this by retroceding, or passing on, part of the risk to another reinsurer. 2. Real Estate Investment: In the context of real estate investments, retrocession could refer to an agreement where a property developer transfers some of the project’s potential risk to a financier. In return, the financier could receive a share of the project’s potential profits as compensation.3. Structured Investment Products: Retrocession can also refer to fees that banks or financial institutions pay to brokers or advisers for selling structured investment products. In this context, retrocession is a type of commission that incentivizes brokers or advisers to recommend certain products to their clients.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Retrocession?

Retrocession is a business practice whereby one reinsurance company transfers portions of risk that they have assumed to other reinsurance companies. It’s essentially the reinsurance of reinsurance.

What is the purpose of Retrocession?

The main purpose of Retrocession is to reduce the impact of major losses from large claims for the ceding reinsurance company. It also enables reinsurance companies to improve their capital management and increase underwriting capacity.

Is Retrocession the same as Reinsurance?

No, while they are similar and related, they are not the same. Reinsurance is the process where an insurance company transfers part of its risk to a reinsurance company, while Retrocession is when a reinsurance company, in turn, reinsures that risk with another reinsurance company.

How does Retrocession benefit a reinsurance company?

Retrocession allows a reinsurance company to better control risk by diversifying their risk portfolio. It also allows them to take on larger policies knowing they can retrocede parts of the risk if they need to.

What is a Retrocessionaire?

A Retrocessionaire is the reinsurance company that takes on the portions of risk transferred during a Retrocession.

Can Retrocession lead to difficulties?

Yes, Retrocession can create a chain of risk transfer which can lead to a complexity in identifying who is responsible for payment in the event of a claim. It can also potentially lead to solvency risks if one company in the chain fails to meet its obligations.

What are the types of Retrocession?

Mainly two types of Retrocession are used: quota share, where the retrocessionaire accepts a fixed percentage of each risk transferred, and excess of loss, where the retrocessionaire assumes the amount of loss that exceeds the cedent’s retention limit.

What is a Retrocession Fee?

A Retrocession Fee is the commission paid by an investment fund to a third party, usually a broker or a financial advisor, for rendering services such as investment advice or portfolio management. It’s important not to confuse it with Retrocession in reinsurance.

Related Finance Terms

  • Reinsurance: This is the concept where insurance companies transfer portions of their risk portfolios to other parties.
  • Cession: This is the transferring of insurance risk to a reinsurer by an insurance company. It’s the opposite of retrocession and is where the term originates.
  • Retrocessional Fees: Fees paid by a reinsurer to a cedent (primary insurance company) for retroceded insurance.
  • Treaty Retrocession: A contract under which a reinsurer retrocedes risks to another reinsurer.
  • Spiral of Retrocession: A scenario where the same risk is passed back and forth between reinsurers and becomes a repeated cycle leading to catastrophic losses.

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