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Hurricane Ian claims likely to push Swiss Re to Q3 loss

Swiss Re

(Reuters) — Swiss Re forecast Tuesday a third-quarter net loss of around $500 million after the reinsurance company absorbed preliminary claims from Hurricane Ian of approximately $1.3 billion.

“While the 2022 target of 10% Group ROE is unlikely to be reached given the impact from natural catastrophes, the Ukraine war and financial market volatility, the Group remains confident in the mid-term outlook and committed to its 2024 profitability goals,” the reinsurer said in a statement.

Ian, which came ashore in Florida last month, was one of the strongest hurricanes to ever make landfall in the United States, subjecting the region to extreme winds, storm surges and torrential rain.

Swiss Re estimated the preliminary total insured market loss from Hurricane Ian at $50 billion to $65 billion.

The company said its (life and health) L&H Re and Corporate Solutions businesses remained on track to achieve their 2022 targets, while (property and casualty) P&C Re was unlikely to reach its normalized combined ratio target of less than 94% in 2022 given an increase in small to mid-sized claims.

“Swiss Re maintains its very strong capital position, with Group (Swiss Solvency Test) ratio of 274%, as of 1 July 2022. This allows Swiss Re to pursue profitable opportunities in a hardening reinsurance market, while remaining committed to its capital management priorities,” it said ahead of quarterly results on Oct. 28.

Berenberg analyst Kathryn Fear cut her estimate for 2022 net income to $947 million from $1.72 billion.

“This is primarily down to Hurricane Ian, which, at our (loss) estimate of $1.1 billion, effectively uses up the group's remaining natural catastrophe budget,” she wrote in a note, saying management had guided with half-year results that it had $1.2 billion of natural catastrophe budget for the second half.