Re-Insurance

Axis and Everest estimate catastrophe losses

  • Coastal damage: a house slides into the Atlantic Ocean in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Two Bermuda reinsurers estimated a combined $1.8 billion in pre-tax catastrophe losses for the third quarter.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as two earthquakes in Mexico were among the natural disasters that led to Everest Re estimating a net $1.2 billion in catastrophe losses and Axis Capital estimating $617 million.

Everest said its loss would $900 million after tax, with losses coming out of both the insurance and reinsurance segments.

Everest noted that it is the reinsurance industry’s leading sponsor of catastrophe bonds, through the Kilimanjaro Re series, with $2.8 billion of multiyear collateralised capacity for specific perils as well as aggregate protection for losses arising from named territories, including Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico — all of which were impacted by storms in the third quarter.

Dom Addesso, Everest Re’s chief executive officer, said: “Our thoughts are with the people of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Mexico, as they begin the recovery process.

“We have long established relationships in these markets, forged over many decades, and together with our clients will stand in support of these efforts.

“ Our robust balance sheet and strong risk management programme provides assurance to our clients that Everest will deliver when it matters most.”

Axis Capital estimated $315 million of its catastrophe losses would be attributed to its insurance business and $302 million to the reinsurance segment.

Axis added the after-tax financial impact of the catastrophes will total $578 million.

Albert Benchimol, chief executive officer of Axis, said: “Our foremost thoughts are with the people whose lives have been impacted by this unprecedented series of catastrophic events.

“Our mission is to help people, businesses and communities recover from calamities such as these, and we are fully committed to supporting and serving the communities that have been affected by the devastation.

“We have commenced paying claims for our insureds, and our team will continue to work tirelessly with our clients and partners so that we can assist in the rebuilding efforts.”

Axis also said it acquired the shares of British insurer Novae Group on October 2, 2017.

“The results of Novae will be included in the Axis Capital results from that date,” Axis said.

“Axis Capital estimates Novae’s net financial impact from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the two earthquakes in Mexico is $60 million, net of estimated recoveries from reinsurance and including the impact of estimated reinstatement premiums.

“Based on current estimates of gross losses, Axis expects Novae to receive reinsurance recoveries from all events with significant aggregate reinsurance cover still remaining.”