CORRECTION: Brit Estimates Wilma Claims at $65 Million; Total Hurricane Losses at $316.5 Million

November 16, 2005

The original article contained a significant mathematical error. U.K.-based international insurer and reinsurer, Brit Insurance Holdings PLC, announced that claims arising from Hurricane Wilma, net of reinsurance recoveries and reinstatements, are estimated at £37.5 million ($65 million).

The Group’s earlier estimate of claims arising from Hurricane Katrina (including the flooding in New Orleans) was £125 million ($216.8 million); claims from Rita were estimated at £20 million ($34.7 million) (See IJ Website Sept. 28). The total of estimated claims from the three loss events cumulates to £182.5 million, as the company stated in its bulletin. The current equivalent in dollars is $316.5 million. The figure given in the original headline was in error.

The Group’s announcement noted that despite the heavy losses, “the financial strength ratings of the Group’s principal subsidiary, Brit Insurance Limited, remain “A+” (Strong) with Fitch and “A” (Excellent) with A.M. Best, in each case with a stable outlook.” It also said it remains committed to “pay an uncovered final dividend for 2005 subject to the performance of the Group in the remainder of the year. Absent further exceptional claims or other unforeseen circumstances, Brit expects to remain in profit for 2005.”

CEO Dane Douetil commented: “Brit believes that the premium rating environment will improve in most of its business classes and significantly in those classes most directly affected by the catastrophe losses. We will therefore use the hardening market conditions to continue to grow our business particularly in non-correlating classes and our UK operations. During the course of 2006, we will reduce our peak zone catastrophe exposures to further Brit’s stated policy of reducing volatility in its earnings. The current market conditions will allow us to utilize more fully our strong balance sheet thereby increasing the return on equity for our shareholders.”

Editor’s Note: The incorrect figure was due solely to a failure to review and verify exchange rate calculations. Both the Insurance Journal and I personally apologize to Brit Plc. for any inconvenience the error may have caused.
Charles E. Boyle – International Editor, The Insurance Journal

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