Everest sees quake and flood losses up to $285m – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Everest sees quake and flood losses up to $285m

Everest Re Group Ltd has issued preliminary loss estimates of between $140 million and $210 million for last month's New Zealand earthquake.

The company also expects gross losses of $45 million in the first quarter due to this year's Australian floods, while losses arising from Cyclone Yasi were expected to be relatively immaterial.

Fellow Bermuda re/insurer Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd also announced initial loss estimates of up to $38 million resulting from the three big catastrophes at the start of 2011. Alterra expects to take a hit of $5 million to $8 million from the Australian floods in January; $6 million to $10 million from Cyclone Yasi last month; and $15 million to $20 million from last year's New Zealand earthquake.

The company said it was too early to make an estimate of Japan losses.

Also yesterday, Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd estimated losses of $60 million for New Zealand and Australia catastrophes.

The company said floods which occurred in Queensland, Australia in January would cost it around $15 million, while losses from last month's deadly earthquake in the area of Christchurch, New Zealand would total around $45 million.

Endurance believes its losses related to Cyclone Yasi are not material and added that it would be premature to make an estimate of losses relating to the Japan disaster.

Everest Re chairman and CEO Joseph Taranto, commenting on the Japan earthquake, said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with the people of Japan as they deal with these tragic events. We have long relationships in the Japanese market and remain committed to providing our support during this most difficult time.

“While we expect this loss to be significant, it is still too early to provide a reasonable or reliable estimate considering the fluidity of the situation. Nonetheless, given the strength of our balance sheet and our core earnings, we have ample capacity to withstand the events that occurred during the first quarter and to continue to support our clients.”

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Published March 18, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 18, 2011 at 10:44 am)

Everest sees quake and flood losses up to $285m

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