Swiss Re announced that based on current estimates, it expects its aggregate claims for hurricanes Rita and Wilma to be approximately $750 million.
CEO John Coomber commented: “This year’s hurricane season reinforces the benefits of Swiss Re’s highly diversified portfolio across lines of business and geographies. Our financial strength remains very strong, enabling Swiss Re to take full benefit of the excellent pricing conditions in the current renewal season.”
The company also warned that its “over-the-cycle target of 10 percent earnings per share growth will not be met for 2005.” However, Swiss Re said it would use “equalisation reserves to mitigate part of the claims caused by this year’s extraordinary hurricane season. Dividend guidance for 2005 of CHF 2.50 [$1.93) per share remains unchanged.”
The bulletin also noted: “Hurricane Rita made landfall as a category 3 hurricane in Texas on 24 September 2005, also affecting Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, shortly after Hurricane Katrina had already devastated these regions. Rita is estimated to have caused insured claims in the range of USD 10 billion with a major part stemming from offshore oil installations.
“Hurricane Wilma became the 12th hurricane of the season and the 21st named tropical storm in the Atlantic, a record not reported since 1933. Wilma was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic. It first made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, as a category 4 hurricane on 21 October 2005, then brushed past Cuba as a category 3 hurricane and finally made second landfall on 24 October 2005 at the west coast of Florida, causing further widespread damage. Hurricane Wilma is estimated to have caused insured claims of USD 6 billion to USD 12 billion.”
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