QBE Expects Large Losses from U.S. Disaster

September 18, 2001

Australia’s QBE has acknowledged that it stands to be hit hard by disaster losses in the U.S. after last Tuesday’s terrorist attacks. As yet it’s released no figures, but has said that the losses would be substantially larger than it had originally anticipated.

According to a report from Reuters News Agency, QBE stated that the extensive reinsurance protections in place are now considered most likely to be insufficient to cover aviation liability and personal accident claims from this event.

The statement underscored the difficulties many insurers are having in making estimates of the claims they may face. QBE is the largest underwriter in the Lloyd’s market with about an 8 percent share. Company officials have said it would be years before the full extent may be known, but they’ve admitted that they will substantially reduce profitability.

That warning has caused QBE’s shares to fall more than 50 percent since last Tuesday’s events, closing at $1.85 in Australia today.

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