Swiss Re’s preliminary estimates of insured losses from Hurricane Katrina are significantly higher than Munich Re’s (see previous article). The world’s second largest reinsurer indicated that they could go as high as $26 billion, making the category 4 storm that ravaged the gulf coast on Monday the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.
“Katrina is in a range comparable to Andrew, cost-wise,” Reuters quoted David Bresch, the head of Swiss Re’s Atmospheric Perils Group, stating at an industry conference in Copenhagen. “But it will take another couple of days before we have an estimate, as the flooding is still going on.”
He also noted that Swiss Re has a market share in the United States of 5 to7 percent, and that eventual claims would be mitigated by federal funds.
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