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W. R. Berkley Expects Up to $50 Million in Sandy Losses

Source: A.M. Best

Posted on 17 Dec 2012 by Neilson

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W.R. Berkley Sandy losses Commercial insurer W.R. Berkley Corp. is estimating losses from Hurricane Sandy will be up to $50 million, before tax.

The company said its estimate takes into account all currently available reinsurance and includes reinstatement premiums.

Sandy struck on the evening of Oct. 29, just southwest of Atlantic City, N.J., as a post-tropical cyclone. Insured losses could reach up to $25 billion, according to risk modeler RMS.

W.R. Berkley in 2011 wrote $107 million worth of property catastrophe risk direct premiums in the Middle Atlantic region, according to BestLink, A.M. Best Co.'s online financial system. The property cat risk figure draws from several lines, including allied, homeowners, commercial multiple peril non-liability and auto physical damage. The top 100 writers of property cat risk in 2011 in the Middle Atlantic states wrote $30.2 billion in direct premiums.

The company has a five-year average property cat risk adjusted loss ratio of 44, which is better than the top 100 writers' five-year average of 53.5, according to BestLink information.

Most W.R. Berkley companies currently have a Best's Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior). During late morning trading on Dec. 14, shares of the company were at $39.17, which is down 0.1% from the previous close.

Sandy loss estimates from insurance companies have been streaming out publicly lately.

- Ace Ltd. is expecting to lose $380 million.

- XL Group estimates it will lose $350 million due to the storm. The figure is pretax and net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums, the company said.

- Platinum Underwriters is expecting to post a $30 million net loss from Sandy in its fourth-quarter results, the company said. The number is net of retrocessional coverage, reinstatement premiums and income taxes.

- Hartford is expecting about $370 million in losses.

- American International Group Inc. is estimating about $1.3 billion in after-tax losses.

- Travelers Cos. expects losses of $650 million and gross losses of $1.135 billion.

- New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co. is expecting policyholder payouts to exceed $300 million.

- Swiss Re is expecting $900 million in losses.

- Allstate Corp. expects $1.08 billion in losses.

- QBE Insurance Group Ltd. expects losses from A$350 million (US$363.4 million) to A$450 million.

- Kemper Corp. expects $45 million in losses.

- Cincinnati Financial Corp. expects 25 million to $35 million in pretax cat losses.

- Tokio Marine expects losses of about 30 billion yen ($363.8 million).

- Chubb Corp. estimated its after-tax Sandy losses at $570 million and a before-tax loss of $880 million.

- Hanover Insurance Group warned investors that losses from Sandy will be between $120 million and $140 million, and will be unlikely to exceed the retention on its property catastrophe reinsurance program, according to a statement from the company.

- Meadowbrook Insurance Group Inc. said it expects about $5.1 million in claims resulting from Hurricane Sandy. The claims are mainly limited to marine and properties in the Northeast