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Swiss Re Ltd. on Tuesday said it expects a $1.3 billion claims burden from major natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in the fourth quarter of 2018, as the California wildfires and bigger-than-expected losses from Japanese typhoons hit results.
In a statement, the reinsurer said its estimate includes quarterly natural catastrophe losses of $1.0 billion, net of retrocession and before tax, and around $300 million of man-made disaster claims pretax.
Swiss Re anticipates total natural catastrophe and man-made disaster losses of $2.9 billion for the full year 2018. Natural catastrophe claims will mainly hit its reinsurance business, while man-made losses are spread equally across reinsurance and corporate solutions business units, Swiss Re said.
“The last quarter of 2018 was severely impacted by natural catastrophes. In the U.S., Hurricane Michael was the strongest storm to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and in California, wildfires caused great damage as they also spread to urban areas,” Swiss Re Group Chief Underwriting Officer Edouard Schmid said in a statement.
For the whole industry in 2018, Swiss Re estimates global insured losses of $81 billion.
Insured wildfire losses in California could be approaching record levels, according to a briefing Wednesday from A.M. Best Co. Inc.