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Axis estimates $235 million in COVID-19 losses

 Albert Benchimol

Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. estimates it will pay first-quarter catastrophe-related claims of $300 million, including $235 million in COVID-19 claims based on global shelter-in-place orders remaining in effect through July 31, 2020.

The Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer said most of its insurance contracts do not cover losses related to the coronavirus outbreak.

The claims provision arising out of the pandemic is “largely attributable to property-related coverages, but also includes event cancellation and accident & health coverages,” Axis said in a statement.

President and CEO Albert Benchimol said in the statement: “We have confirmed that most of our contracts do not provide coverage that applies to the current situation. Nevertheless, we have written policies that will respond to this pandemic. We are already processing claims and making payments where coverage exists.”

The remaining $65 million in estimated pretax net losses include weather-related losses in the United States, flooding in the United Kingdom and wildfires in Australia, the statement said.

In addition, the company expects to report $93 million in net investment income for the first quarter, a 13.1% decline from the same period in 2019, “primarily attributable to lower hedge fund returns,” the statement said.

Axis also expects to report net unrealized investment losses of $61 million due to declines in stock and credit markets, the statement said.

Axis is scheduled to release its first-quarter results on May 5.

More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here