Swiss Re has released its annual insurance-linked securities (“ILS”) market update, noting that 2012 has seen the most active first half since the record-setting issuance in 2007 (and 2012 is not far behind). The ILS market – an alternative to traditional reinsurance – consists mainly of catastrophe bonds (or “cat bonds”) and longevity bonds, both of which serve as hedges against traditional insurance-based risks (property-casualty risks in the case of cat bonds, and “longevity” based risks associated with the life insurance, pension and annuity markets). A number of new sponsors came to market, with U.S. hurricane risk the most common covered peril for new issues. The update notes that sponsors are increasingly turning to “indemnity” triggers (coverage triggers based on loss levels, thus functioning more or less like traditional excess or reinsurance), rather than the industry index triggers that were previously more common. The update also notes that the market share for modeling firm AIR Worldwide has increased dramatically to 91%.