PartnerRe, Converium Estimate E. European Flood Losses

September 9, 2002

Bermuda’s PartnerRe upped its earlier loss estimate from claims due to the recent floods in Eastern Europe from around $100 million to between $110 and $120 million. Swiss-based Converium indicated its pretax losses would be in the $50 million range.

Patrick Thiele, PartnerRe’s President and CEO, explained that the initial estimate “was based on very preliminary information and an expected insured loss of $1.5 billion. After further review of the event and our client accounts, and taking into consideration the rising market loss estimate, we are refining our loss estimate to an expected range of $110 – $120 million.” He added that the “figure is consistent with our important position in the European reinsurance market.”

Dirk Lohmann, Converium CEO, cautioned that the estimates were preliminary and that the company hadn’t released any information earlier, as it “would have been wild-guessing at best.” He indicated that even the current $50 million estimate “contains substantial IBNR estimates from our underwriters for contracts where no specific information has been forthcoming from clients.”

He also noted that,” Water levels receded only two weeks ago and in the first days the affected parties had more pressing issues to take care of than reporting their losses to the insurers. One has to bear in mind that reinsurers are the last in this information chain.” He added that Converium is actively working on finding solutions to the problems involving the insurability of flood losses.

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