Virus is ‘largest event in insurance history’

  • Virus impact: Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Chubb

    Virus impact: Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Chubb


The Covid-19 crisis will be historic for the insurance industry, said Evan Greenberg, chief executive officer of insurer Chubb.

The virus and its ripple effects will impact both the asset side and the liability side of the balance sheet, he said.

“This event will be the largest event in insurance history,” Mr Greenberg said in an earnings call discussing first-quarter results for Chubb, the Swiss-based insurer with substantial operations in Bermuda.

Chubb booked $13 million of losses tied to Covid-19 in the first quarter and warned that the virus will have a “meaningful impact” on revenue and profit in the second quarter.

“We’re in an unprecedented moment of historic proportions,” Mr Greenberg said on the call. “None of us living today has experienced an event of this nature or magnitude. It is at once surreal and catastrophic.”

Chubb’s net income was $252 million for the first three months of the year, down from $1.04 billion in the first quarter of 2019.

The main driver of the fall in profit was financial market volatility. Property and casualty net premiums written were $7.3 billion, up 8.9 per cent year over year.

The combined ratio — the proportion of premium dollars spent on claims and expanses — for P&C business was 89.1 per cent, in line with 89.2 per cent recorded in the prior year.

Insurers are facing a looming threat as legislators in some US states, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, consider law changes that would require insurers to pay out business-interruption losses for small firms, sometimes even if the policy explicitly excluded losses caused by a virus.

Mr Greenberg has called the retroactive measures “unconstitutional” as they would force insures to pay out for losses they did not contemplate when pricing the policies.

Mr Greenberg added: “I feel more stability outside the United States on the regulatory and legal front than I do in the United States. The irony.”

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published Apr 24, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 24, 2020 at 8:08 am)

Virus is ‘largest event in insurance history’

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    Today's Obituaries

    eMoo Posts