Insured losses from devastating floods in Australia could top $6 billion — and earnings estimates for Bermuda reinsurers might be jeopardised as a result.
In an exclusive report today [Jan.18], international news agency Reuter says the catastrophic Queensland floods in December and earlier this week could push reinsurers into losses greater than they had anticipated for both 2010 and this year.
“We are not changing (earnings) estimates at this point for the reinsurers we cover, although our current (fourth-quarter) and 2011 estimates could be at risk especially for the Bermuda reinsurers,” a Barclays Capital analyst is quoted as saying.
Dr. Milan Simic, managing director of catastrophe modeller AIR Worldwide, told Australian media outlets today losses from this week’s deluge in and around Brisbane may be as high as $4 billion, while damage from floods in northern Queensland in December may cost the country’s insurance industry $2 billion.
”They would all have significant reinsurance protections,” Dr Simic said. ”Any losses that they experience would cascade to, say, the Bermuda market, the London market and all the other international reinsurance centres.”
Insured damages of $6 billion would rank the back-to-back disasters as Australia’s most expensive since at least 1980.
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