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Swiss Re sees $300 million in hurricane bills

The world's largest reinsurance company, Swiss Re, says it expects claims of about $300 million (SFr322.9 million) after the two hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

This content was published on September 23, 2008 - 09:37

Swiss Re said in a statement on Tuesday that it expected claims of about $250 million from Hurricane Ike, while those from Gustav were an estimated $50 million.

"The combination of this year's natural catastrophe activity, along with investment market performance, is likely to accelerate the ending of the soft market," commented Swiss Re's chief underwriting officer, Brian Gray.

A soft market is defined as one that has more sellers than buyers when low prices result from an excess of supply over demand.

Swiss Re said that total insured losses for Hurricane Gustav were in the range of $2.5 - $4 billion, while those from Hurricane Ike were estimated at $7 - $14 billion.

Two weeks ago, Swiss Re said that the insurance branch would have to pay much more for natural disasaters this year than in 2007.

It said at a meeting in Monte Carlo that insured losses for the first eight months of the year were 20 per cent up on the same period last year.

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