The current estimate of net asbestos losses for the U.S. property/casualty industry remains at $85 billion, with net environmental losses estimated at $42 billion, according to a new Best’s Special Report.
According to the Best’s report titled “U.S. Insurers Continue Funding of Asbestos & Environmental Liabilities, Despite Elusive End Game,” the industry had funded slightly more than 90 percent of its aggregate asbestos and environmental (A&E) exposures as of year-end 2013. This translated into an unfunded liability of $6.7 billion for asbestos and $3.9 billion for environmental.
The report also notes that incurred losses have increased in five of the past seven years.
A.M. Best said it recognizes that ultimate exposures cannot be known with precision, especially regarding asbestos claims. Nevertheless, funding
efforts continue, as most recently seen in sizable additions to A&E reserves during 2014 by Travelers Group, Hartford Insurance Group and Liberty Mutual Insurance Cos. In aggregate, these three insurers added nearly $690 million to net A&E reserves in 2014, with most of the strengthening on the asbestos side, according to the report.
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