RenRe takes $103.8m Covid-19 hit

  • RenRe CEO Kevin O'Donnell

    RenRe CEO Kevin O'Donnell

RenaissanceRe suffered a hit of more than $100 million from Covid-19 to its first-quarter results.

The Bermudian reinsurer posted a loss of $82 million, or $1.89 per share, in the first three months of the year, compared to net income of $273.7 million, or $6.43 per diluted common share, in the first quarter of 2019.

Operating income available to RenaissanceRe common shareholders was $33.4 million, or 76 cents per share, well short of the $4.16 per share estimate of analysts tracked by Yahoo Finance.

RenRe said its casualty and specialty segment incurred an underwriting loss of $83.2 million and had a combined ratio of 116.9 per cent in the first quarter. The result were “principally impacted by net claims and claim expenses associated with the Covid-19 pandemic of $103.8 million, which added 21.1 percentage points to the combined ratio”, the company added. “The losses primarily represent the cost of claims incurred but not yet reported, with respect to exposures such as event contingency and event-based casualty covers.”

The company expects losses to emerge over time as the full impact of the pandemic and its effects on the global economy are realised.

“A longer or more severe recession, or high unemployment levels will increase the probability of losses,” RenRe said. “Potential legislative, regulatory and judicial actions are also causing significant uncertainty with respect to policy coverage and other issues.

“Our loss estimate as of March 31, 2020 represents our best estimate based on currently available information, including communications received to date from cedants and brokers, portfolio and contract reviews, and other risk assessment procedures.”

RenRe’s investments fared well in the face of extreme volatility in the financial markets in the first quarter, generating an annualised total return of minus 0.1 per cent, or $11.2 million. The statement added that a significant portion of RenRe’s portfolio is weighted towards high-quality fixed maturity investments, while the primary driver of the investment loss was net realised and unrealised losses on equity investments trading, which represents 2 per cent of the $17.8 billion portfolio.

Kevin O’Donnell, RenRe’s chief executive officer, said: “We extend our sympathies to all those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and recognise the immense social, economic and health hardships that many are experiencing, as well as the tremendous sacrifices being made by medical personnel and other first responders around the world.

“Operationally, we are effectively working from home, and I am very proud of what our people have accomplished in such a short time and under difficult circumstances.

“While our financial performance in the first quarter was negatively impacted by Covid-19, we are well capitalised with ample liquidity and our core franchise remains strong. I am confident that we are prepared to meet both the challenges as well as the opportunities of this evolving situation, and will continue delivering long-term value.”

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Published May 7, 2020 at 6:51 pm (Updated May 7, 2020 at 6:51 pm)

RenRe takes $103.8m Covid-19 hit

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