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Insurers estimate NZ quake losses

Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd today preliminary loss estimates totalling $90 million from catastrophes in New Zealand and Australia this year and has started the process of counting the cost of last Friday's earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The Bermuda-based reinsurer said estimated its pretax net loss from the deadly earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand last month at $75 million, net of reinstatement premiums, which assumes a $12 billion industry loss.

The company expects to pay out another $15 million in relation to the Australian floods in January and Cyclone Yasi, a huge storm which hit Queensland.

On the disaster in Japan, Montpelier stated: “The company has commenced its estimation process for expected claims relating to this event but believes it is too early to issue a loss estimate at this time.”

Arch Capital Group Ltd. yesterday announced that its 2011 first quarter results would be negatively impacted by the New Zealand earthquake, in the range of $35 million to $70 million, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums.

This preliminary loss estimate is based on industry insured losses ranging from $6 billion to $12 billion.

The company is currently assessing its exposures to the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last week, and said it was too early to issue an estimate of losses. It added that its maximum modelled exposures to Japan earthquakes were approximately $60 million for a one-in-100 year return period and approximately $100 million for a one-in-250 year return period.

Meanwhile, Flagstone Re's share price fell seven percent in New York Stock Exchange trading yesterday on top of on top of its 12 percent fall on Friday.

Investors' concerns over exposures to Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan drove others lower as well.

Both Platinum and Montpelier Re fell three percent, while Aspen was down 2.7 percent.

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Published March 15, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 15, 2011 at 10:11 am)

Insurers estimate NZ quake losses

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