Swiss Re announced that, based on current estimates, it expects its net claims for Hurricane Gustav to be approximately $50 million, and for Hurricane Ike approximately $250 million. Both claims are preliminary and are “”net of hedging and reinsurance protection.”
Swiss Re traced Gustav’s trajectory from its formation “near the Lesser Antilles from a tropical storm cell originating near the Cape Verde Islands.” It then moved towards Cuba, strengthening rapidly to a category 4 hurricane. The storm crossed the Gulf of Mexico, and made landfall along the Louisiana barrier islands as a category 2 hurricane. It is estimated to “have caused total insured losses of between $2.5 to 4.0 billion,” said Swiss Re.
Describing Hurricane Ike, Swiss Re noted that it first made landfall on the northeast coast of Cuba Sept. 8 as a category 3 hurricane. It came ashore along the coast of Texas as a strong category 2 hurricane, leaving “widespread devastation on the densely populated Galveston Island and also caused considerable damage in Houston. Insured losses are estimated to be in the range of $7 to 14 billion.”
Brian Gray, Chief Underwriting Officer of Swiss Re, commented: “The combination of this year’s natural catastrophe activity, along with investment market performance, is likely to accelerate the ending of the soft market.”
Swiss Re added that it “is holding its Investors’ Day on 25 September 2008, which, as announced previously, will focus on Swiss Re’s Life and Health business. In the light of the unprecedented developments in the global financial markets, Swiss Re will also provide an update on its investments and its financial market exposures.
“Swiss Re continues to monitor developments carefully and is satisfied that its risk management procedures and controls continue to be focused on ensuring the Group maintains a strong balance sheet and sound capital position.
Source: Swiss Re – www.swissre.com
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