Deutsche Bank: Bermuda and US re/insurers’ Japan quake bill will not exceed $25b – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Deutsche Bank: Bermuda and US re/insurers’ Japan quake bill will not exceed $25b

Losses for Bermuda and US re/insurers from last week's Japanese earthquake will come in at $25 billion or less, according to a report released yesterday by Deutsche Bank.

“The Bermudan reinsurance market, which tends to specialise in property catastrophe reinsurance among other lines, has been vocal about avoiding excessive Japanese quake exposure,” said Deutsche Bank insurance industry analyst Joshua Shanker.

“The price to reinsure Japanese property has been argued as less attractive than other developed property markets, like insuring the US Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico against hurricanes.”

Deutsche Bank estimated the insured losses associated with the quake will significantly impact reinsurance earnings, but that those losses will probably not lead to capital impairments for reinsurance stocks listed in the US.

The report suggested losses could be as low as $5 billion, however, they will still be felt by companies like Bermuda reinsurers Aspen Insurance and Everest Re.

In addition, while Japanese insurers may get hit harder, the total economic loss, which has been estimated at $100 billion, will probably be many multiples larger than the insured loss.

“We believe insurance penetration, already lowers in Japan than in other parts of the developed world, is particularly low in Tohoku,” the Deutsche Bank report said.

Yesterday, Montpelier Re was the worst hit Bermuda reinsurer in New York Stock Exchange trading, falling 5.7 percent. Flagstone Re fell three percent, PartnerRe and White Mountains tumbled 2.3 percent, while Axis Capital and Endurance Specialty each fell two percent. on the London Stock Exchange, Island re/insurer Lancashire fell 4.3 percent.

While estimates of economic losses have ranged from $100 billion to $180 billion, catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide has estimated insured losses of up to $34.6 billion.

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Published March 16, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 16, 2011 at 10:33 am)

Deutsche Bank: Bermuda and US re/insurers’ Japan quake bill will not exceed $25b

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