Reinsurer expects ‘significant’ Japan losses

Bermuda-based reinsurer Everest Re estimates that the 21 February earthquake in New Zealand will cost it between $140m and $210m pre-tax. On an after tax basis, the loss will be between $120m and $180m.

The estimates are based on underwriters' preliminary analyses and judgments, profiling of exposed limits, and modelled loss estimates that are consistent with an industry loss event ranging between $8bn and $12bn.

As previously announced, Everest expects a pre-tax loss of $45m from the storms and flooding in Australia, which translates to a $37m after-tax loss.

Everest chief executive Joseph Taranto expects the loss from the 11 March earthquake and Tsunami in Japan to be “significant” but said it was too early to provide a reliable estimate because of the fluidity of the situation.

However, he added: “Given the strength of our balance sheet and our core earnings, we have ample capacity to withstand the events that occurred during the first quarter and to continue to support our clients.”