Canadian Underwriter

Fairfax expects US$35 million Charley loss

August 23, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter

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Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings says its companies could be exposed to losses totaling US$35-$45 million as a result of Hurricane Charley. The preliminary estimates, which are net of reinsurance, include Odyssey Re, Crum & Forster and Northbridge.
Other insurers are beginning to disclose losses as a result of the hurricane, which struck Florida’s Gulf Coast on August 15. Everest Re expects a loss of about US$40 million, while Arch Capital Group says it may post a third quarter loss of US$24-$44 million relative to Charley. Alea says its loss will be less than US$10 million.
Higher losses are expected from Nationwide, at US$377 million and Zurich Financial Services at US$150 million. Swiss Re has already pegged its losses at less than US$200 million.
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) notes that some losses are not being picked up by insurance specifically, many mobile home owners did not buy coverage for their vehicles, even though it is widely available. Mobile homes suffered serious damage, particularly in the communities of Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, PCI notes.
On a positive note, PCI says, “based on estimated insured losses, the performance of the state’s Catastrophe Fund, and the financial health of the insurance industry prior to Hurricane Charley, it is unlikely that the storm by itself will have a significant impact on the availability or cost of homeowners insurance premiums in the near future.”
The Insurance Information Institute notes that the industry has established a “Hurricane Insurance Information Center” in Punta Gorda to assist the public with claims filing and other information. A website has also been set up at

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