Swiss Re expects its aggregated net claims for hurricanes Gustav and Ike to be approximately USD 300 million

23 September 2008 Swiss Re

Swiss Re today announced that, based on current estimates, it expects its net claims for Hurricane Gustav to be approximately USD 50 million, and for Hurricane Ike approximately USD 250 million.

Hurricane Gustav formed near the Lesser Antilles from a tropical storm cell originating near the Cape Verde Islands and then moved towards Cuba, strengthening rapidly to a category 4 hurricane. After crossing the Gulf of Mexico it made landfall along the Louisiana barrier islands on 1 September. Gustav was then downgraded to category 2 and, once over land, quickly lost its strength. Gustav is estimated to have caused total insured losses of USD 2.5 to 4.0 billion.

For Hurricane Gustav, Swiss Re estimates its own claims, net of hedging and reinsurance protection to be approximately USD 50 million, based on information available to date.

Hurricane Ike tracked over parts of the Caribbean and made landfall on the northeast coast of Cuba on 8 September as a category 3 hurricane. As a strong category 2 hurricane, Ike hit the Texas Gulf coast in the Galveston-Houston area in the early morning of 13 September. It left behind widespread devastation on the densely populated Galveston Island and also caused considerable damage in Houston. Insured losses are estimated to be in the range of USD 7 to 14 billion.

For Hurricane Ike, Swiss Re estimates its own claims, net of hedging and reinsurance protection, to be approximately USD 250 million, based on information available to date.

Brian Gray (pictured), Chief Underwriting Officer of Swiss Re, commented: ”The combination of this year's natural catastrophe activity, along with investment market performance, is likely to accelerate the ending of the soft market.”

Swiss Re is holding its Investors' Day on 25 September 2008, which, as announced previously, will focus on Swiss Re’s Life and Health business. In the light of the unprecedented developments in the global financial markets, Swiss Re will also provide an update on its investments and its financial market exposures.
Swiss Re continues to monitor developments carefully and is satisfied that its risk management procedures and controls continue to be focused on ensuring the Group maintains a strong balance sheet and sound capital position.


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