Swiss Re Estimates Katrina Claims at Around $500M

September 1, 2005

Swiss Re announced that, based on its preliminary estimate, it expects claims related to Hurricane Katrina to be in the range $500 million (CHF 625 million) before tax.

“Swiss Re expects Hurricane Katrina to cost the insurance industry in the region of $20 billion, making it the most costly hurricane after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, when insurance claims reached $22 billion (indexed to 2005),” said the announcement. “Based on preliminary estimates Swiss Re expects its claims to be around $500 million. The complexity of damage caused by the storm and subsequent flooding means estimates have a more than usual degree of uncertainty.”

The world’s second largest reinsurer said that so far this year claims from natural catastrophes are estimated at CHF 1 billion ($798 million). “This estimate includes, in addition to Katrina, the significant events of January’s European storm Erwin, July’s Hurricanes Dennis and Emily and the flooding in India as well as the floods in Central Europe in August,” said the bulletin. “These estimated claims costs can be measured against Swiss Re’s natural catastrophe premiums earned of CHF 1.4 billion [$1.17 billion] for the full year 2005.”

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