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Wildfires, earthquakes to hit insurers' 2Q results


XL Group P.L.C. and Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. said Wednesday that the May and June wildfires in Alberta were a major factor in second-quarter catastrophe losses, which they said have exceeded $300 million.

Dublin-based XL put its preliminary second-quarter net loss estimate due to catastrophes at $240 million — about $100 million in insurance and about $140 million in reinsurance.

The estimate, which is pretax and net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums, includes the wildfires in Canada, flooding in Europe, earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador, and hailstorms in the United States. The Fort McMurray, Alberta, wildfires accounted for roughly $120 million of the total and are primarily a reinsurance loss, XL said in a statement.

For the entire reinsurance industry, second-quarter cat losses are projected to top $16 billion, XL said in the statement.

In a separate statement, Hamilton, Bermuda-based Aspen said it expects about $65 million in pretax losses, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums, related to natural catastrophes during the quarter. About 75% is reinsurance and 25% is insurance, Aspen said.

The Alberta wildfires accounted for about 50% of the total; weather-related events in the United States accounted for 36%; and several earthquakes, the largest of which was in Kumamoto, Japan, accounted for about 14% of its losses, Aspen said.

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