A round-up of the latest reinsurance stories online

Natural catastrophes in the Asia-Pacific region piqued the interest of (re)insurers for a third consecutive month, as the market braced itself for claims following the earthquake in Japan.

Readers welcomed Jefferies analyst James Shuck’s early estimate that Japan claims could be limited to $10bn – which he stands by despite far higher estimates emerging.

News of Swiss Re’s strong results got readers clicking. A 74% profit rise showed the reinsurer had made up ground lost in the past two years. It will be interesting to see the impact of catastrophe losses in Australia, New Zealand and Japan on its 2011 results.

Xchanging Insurance Services (XIS) chairman Richard Bucknall’s attempts to quell London market fears after parent Xchanging issued a profit warning also proved popular. Bucknall insisted XIS was a separate company and that shareholders would be able to buy out Xchanging’s 50% stake “in the unlikely event that any shareholder ceases as a going concern”.

The (re)insurance market loves a people story. In fourth place is news that SCOR-backed Channel Syndicate 2015 at Lloyd’s hired David Leathem to head is property arm. The French reinsurer said he was to be joined by a team of underwriters shortly, leaving readers to ponder who might be on the team.

Finally, when Robert Hiscox speaks, the market listens. At five is our story about the Hiscox chairman slamming broker remuneration as “a deficiency in the insurance market”. He didn’t hold back, urging the issue to be resolved “sensibly” before “crusading regulators” step in.

Online top five

1. Japan quake claims could be $10bn - analyst

Loss will affect local cat rates but will not turn market

2. Swiss Re profits up 74% despite cat losses

ROE of 3.6% compared with 2.3% in 2009

3. Xchanging Insurance Services calms London market fears

XIS assures London market heads it will hold together if Xchanging's troubles continue

4. SCOR syndicate hires property head

David Leathen joins new Lloyd's operation

5. Hiscox chairman hits out at broker remuneration

Rivals’ underwriting discipline also slammed