Chubb sees higher catastrophe losses due to storms, wildfires

Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:17pm EDT
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July 12 (Reuters) - Property and casualty insurer Chubb Ltd estimated natural catastrophe losses for the second quarter to be about 54 percent higher than the first quarter, indicating another quarter of high losses due to natural disasters for insurers.

Multiple weather events in the United States, which included hail storms in Texas, earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador, floods in Europe and wildfires in Fort McMurray in Canada were among the natural catastrophes covered in the company's loss estimate.

The Zurich-based insurer said on Tuesday it expects pre-tax losses to total $390 million in the second quarter, exceeding its original projection of $280 million. The losses include $320 million due to catastrophes in North America.

Losses due to catastrophes are estimated to be $315 million after tax, compared with $204 million reported in the first quarter.

In the first quarter, insurers such as Allstate, Travelers Cos Inc and Progressive Corp reported sharp increases in catastrophe losses due to storms in Texas that toppled power lines and damaged structures.

Travelers, which is considered a bellwether for the insurance industry, is expected to report its second-quarter earnings next week.

Bermuda-based Validus Holdings Ltd said on Monday it expected losses due to events such as the wildfires in Canada to result in losses of $60 million in the second quarter. (Reporting By Sudarshan Varadhan in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Muvija M; Editing by Maju Samuel)