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Virus, civil unrest losses to dent W.R. Berkley results

Posted On: Jul. 10, 2020 4:03 PM CST


W.R. Berkley Corp. estimates second-quarter pretax catastrophe losses of $145 million, including losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest, but expects its revenue will hold steady despite the economic downturn, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based insurer announced Friday.

The catastrophe loss estimate includes $85 million in coronavirus-related losses, $40 million in losses from severe weather and $20 million in losses related to civil unrest, the company said in a statement.

The COVID-19 losses stem primarily from contingency and event cancelation policies, workers compensation, professional liability, other liability coverages, and business interruption policies, the statement said.

“A substantial portion of the losses are classified as incurred but not reported (IBNR) reserves, in recognition of the high level of uncertainty in the estimates given the unprecedented nature of this event,” W.R. Berkley said.

Net written premium for the second quarter will likely be comparable to the same period last year, when the company reported net written premium of $1.74 billion, the statement said.

Insurance rates increased substantially during the quarter, with average rates rising 13%, excluding workers comp, the statement said.

W.R. Berkley is due to report its second-quarter results on July 21.

Earlier this week, rival Chubb Ltd. said it expects second-quarter catastrophe losses of $1.81 billion.

More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here