Q1 cat losses set to top $5b for Bermuda market

Major commercial re/insurers in the Bermuda market have already declared catastrophe losses of up to $4.6 billion for the first quarter of 2011.

And with hundreds of millions of dollars more in losses related to last month’s Japan earthquake and tsunami expected to be announced in the coming days from companies including RenaissanceRe, Catlin Group, Arch Capital, Axis Capital and Montpelier Re, the top of the losses range could easily head north of $5 billion for the January through March period.

Last night, Endurance Speciailty Holdings Ltd became the latest company to announce estimated losses from Japan of around $125 million.

Endurance said its estimated loss is pre-tax and net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums.

Even before estimates of the Japanese disaster started to be announced, 19 major Bermuda players had already announced combined catastrophe losses of between $1.99 billion and $2.37 billion for events including February’s deadly earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, January’s widespread flooding in Australia and Cyclone Yasi, which battered Queensland.

Estimates of losses from the March 11 disaster in Japan have come through from 13 major Bermuda market players over the past few days, totalling more than $2.3 billion.

PartnerRe faces comfortably the biggest payout of the Bermuda companies, having estimated losses for Japan, New Zealand and Australia between $760 million and $850 million.

Everest Re is looking at first-quarter catastrophe losses of $505 million to $575 million, while Ace’s estimates are in a range of $410 million to $460 million.

Over the coming few weeks, Bermuda market companies will declare their first-quarter results.

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Published Apr 15, 2011 at 8:30 am (Updated Apr 15, 2011 at 8:29 am)

Q1 cat losses set to top $5b for Bermuda market

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