Zurich Q4 update warns of US$275m loss

Swiss insurance giant Zurich said on Wednesday that it expects its aggregate losses in the fourth quarter of 2015 will total around US$275m, as a result of payouts “due to natural catastrophe claims”, including those related to major storms in the UK and Ireland, in addition to “a significant level of [other] large losses”.

However, operating results for its Farmers and Global Life operations “should be in line with expectations, and the group’s capital position remains very strong across all key metrics”, the company added in a statement.

It said these estimates were net of reinsurance and before tax, and will be recorded in the Zurich Group’s annual results, which are due to be released on 11 Feb.

“While these amounts represent Zurich’s current best estimate of the cost” of handling the claims it expects to see coming out of the three months to the end of December,  Zurich went on, “the nature of many of the losses and the extended remediation period necessary to complete the repairs means that the final cost remains uncertain”.

Last year was a challenging one for Zurich; it closed or sold non-core operations, including, most recently, a Luxembourg-based business to Lombard International, and in September gave up its plan to buy the UK-based RSA group, citing financial concerns.

However, it says it is expecting  to see its finances ” improve over the course of 2016, as the steps taken to reduce exposure to large losses take effect”.

To read the Zurich statement in full, click here.



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