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Hiscox lowers storm loss estimates

Hiscox has lowered its estimates of losses from third-quarter hurricanes and said it was seeing signs of markedly improved rates.

The Bermudian-based insurer and reinsurer said this morning in its interim statement for the first nine months of the year that its early catastrophe loss estimates had “proved to be prudent”.

“As a result, we now estimate combined net claims for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Hurricane Maria of $225 million against a previous estimate of $225 million for Harvey and Irma alone,” Hiscox said.

Hiscox said this was based on total insured loss estimates of $90 billion for the three hurricanes — $25 billion for Harvey (excluding the state-run National Flood Insurance Programme), $35 billion for Irma and $30 billion for Maria.

It added that claims from two Mexico earthquakes and the California wildfires were “not expected to be material” for Hiscox.

“The recent catastrophes are estimated to have cost the industry $100 billion and follow a decade of rate reductions,” Hiscox said. “Therefore, it is not surprising that we are seeing signs of a hardening market.

“Price corrections are occurring in loss-affected and loss-exposed US property lines business where we are seeing increases of between 10 per cent and 50 per cent and sometimes more.

“In other London market insurance lines, momentum is building ahead of the busy renewal season and reductions are coming to an end.

“For reinsurance, we anticipate double-digit increases in rates for US catastrophe-exposed business at the important January renewals, with higher increases on loss-affected accounts and retro business.

“Rates in our retail business are broadly flat with significant rises in US commercial property.”

The group's reinsurance and third-party capital operations are run out of Hiscox's headquarters on Church Street, Hamilton.

This segment reported an 8.7 per cent increase in gross written premiums to $705.9 million in the first nine months of the year. Hiscox Re ILS funds reached $1.35 billion by the end of September.

“Property-catastrophe reinsurance makes up over 60 per cent of gross written premiums for Hiscox Re and ILS where, following the hurricane activity in the third quarter, we are seeing signs of material hardening of rates with some risks expected to rise by 30 per cent in loss-affected areas,” Hiscox said.

“The wildfires in California are also putting upward pressure on US renewal rates.”

Estimates lowered: Hiscox has reduced its estimates of net claims resulting from damage like this caused by three third-quarter hurricanes

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Published November 07, 2017 at 4:25 pm (Updated November 07, 2017 at 4:25 pm)

Hiscox lowers storm loss estimates

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