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Half of Aspen’s Q2 natural catastrophe loss from Alberta wildfire


July 14, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter


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The recent wildfires in Alberta cost Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. roughly US$30 million, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums, the Hamilton, Bermuda-based carrier suggested in a press release Wednesday.

Investment analysisAspen’s initial estimate, of pre-tax losses, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums, related to natural catastrophes, was about US$65 million during the three months ending June 30.

“Within the estimate of Aspen’s natural catastrophe losses, the largest events were the wildfires in Alberta, Canada (accounting for approximately 50% of the total initial pre-tax loss estimate), a number of weather-related events in the United States (approximately 36%), and several earthquakes, the largest of which was in Kumamoto, Japan (approximately 14%),” Aspen stated.

The wildfire that started in early May resulted in the evacuation of about 80,000 people from the Fort McMurray, Alta. area.

Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) said July 7 it estimates the insured damage was $3.58 billion, of which 62% is personal property. CatIQ managing director Carolyn Rennie said earlier that there were about 27,000 personal lines claims averaging $81,000 each, about 5,000 commercial claims averaging “close to” $250,000 each and about 12,000 auto claims averaging about $15,000 each.

During the first quarter of 2016, Aspen reported $18.7 million in pre-tax catastrophe losses net of reinsurance recoveries.

One of the firm’s operating subsidiaries – Aspen Insurance UK Ltd. – has a branch office in Canada. Aspen also operates Lloyd’s Syndicate 4711 and Aspen Specialty. Aspen wrote nearly US$3 billion in gross premiums in 2015.

Other insurers releasing estimates of Q2 natural catastrophe losses were Chubb Ltd. and XL Group plc. XL – which has used the XL Catlin brand since it acquired Catlin Group Ltd. – said Thursday its Q2 preliminary nat cat net loss estimate was US$240 million. Of that, about US$120 million was from the Fort McMurray wildfire.

On Wednesday, Chubb said its Q2 nat ca losses were US$390 million, pre-tax. ACE Ltd. changed its name to Chubb when it acquired The Chubb Corp.