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Hiscox sees Japan losses of up to $150m

Bermuda-based insurer Hiscox Ltd today said it expects a potential loss of between $60 million and $150 million in connection with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 11.

The company also estimates net claims of about $96 million for the New Zealand earthquake and $24 million for the Queensland floods this year.

The Hamilton, Bermuda-based company's exposure to the Japanese earthquake is primarily through its underwriting of global and regional reinsurance and retrocessional programs. Considerable uncertainties exist regarding the earthquake, as an estimate of the insured loss is still at an early stage, Hiscox noted.

However, based on an insured market loss of about $24 billion, the company could incur net claims between $60 million and $150 million in connection with the earthquake, with a mean loss of $100 million. Initial investigations suggest that this range remains valid.

Insured market loss for the New Zealand earthquake is estimated to be $10 billion, while it is projected to be $2.4 billion for the floods in Queensland.

Commenting on these catastrophe losses, Robert Childs, chief underwriting officer of Hiscox, said, “These events will only minimally impair our own reinsurance programme. In the reinsurance we underwrite, we have seen significant increases in rates for the affected regions and expect this pressure to become widespread.”

Hiscox was trading at 382.1p today, up 6.7p, or 1.8 percent, at 11.50am Bermuda time.

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Published March 30, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm)

Hiscox sees Japan losses of up to $150m

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