Insurer Lancashire sees losses of up to $212m from hurricanes, earthquakes


LONDON — Insurer Lancashire Holdings said yesterday it estimated that its losses from hurricanes in the Caribbean and southern United States and earthquakes in Mexico would be between $106 million and $212 million.

This was more than an initial estimate of $40 million

(£30,50 million) from the series of storms and earthquakes that have hit the region for the company, which writes policies for heavy-duty assets such as oil rigs, ships and aircrafts.

The underwriter, which provides property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, had previously said it did not expect to pay out huge amounts from Tropical Storm Harvey.

Lancashire said it would provide a further update on November 2, as part of its third-quarter earnings release.

Insurers and reinsurers are counting the costs of Harvey, which lashed Texas causing flooding that put it on the scale of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, which ravaged several islands in the northern Caribbean, before moving into Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Most recently Maria, the most powerful hurricane to hit the United States island territory of Puerto Rico in nearly 90 years, knocked out the territory’s entire power grid, unleashing severe flooding and causing widespread heavy damage.

Modelling firm RMS estimates total insured losses from Harvey and Irma of up to $80 billion and $15-30 billion of losses from Hurricane Maria.

Lancashire’s warning follows a host of similar announcements from insurers and reinsurers.