U.S. CAT LOSSES: $6.5 B
Catastrophes cost U.S. property/casualty insurers an estimated $6.5 billion in 2007, according to Insurance Services Office Inc.'s Property Claim Services unit. PCS reported that 23 catastrophes--which PCS defines as an event that causes $25 million or more in insured property losses and affects a significant number of policyholders and underwriters--affected 41 states last year. California sustained the largest loss at $1.23 billion, about $1.1 billion of which stemmed from the wildfire in San Diego County.
GLOBAL CAT LOSSES: $75 B
Despite the general absence of extreme catastrophes in 2007, overall economic losses from natural disasters reached $75 billion by the end of December 2007, an increase of 50 percent from $50 billion in 2006, according to Munich Re. The losses were well short of 2005's record $220 billion. At just under $30 billion, 2007's insured losses were almost double those of 2006 ($15 billion). The number of natural catastrophes recorded in 2007 was 950 compared with 850 in 2006, the highest figure since 1974, when Munich Re began keeping records.
IRONSHORE BUYS E&S SHELL
Ironshore Holdings Inc., Ironshore Inc.'s U.S. subsidiary, completed the acquisition of TIG Specialty Insurance Co., a U.S.-based excess-and-surplus lines insurance company, Ironshore has announced. The company, to be renamed Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co., has approval to write excess and surplus lines in 40 states plus the District of Columbia. In addition, it has licenses in five states. ISIC will serve as the excess-and-surplus lines insurance carrier for Ironshore's U.S. operations, which currently consist of the IronPro and IronBuilt divisions.
NEW ETHICS COURSES
The Risk and Insurance Management Society has made available a compliance and business ethics training library, offering more than 50 online courses that cover a range of topics in these areas. The courses--designed by WeComply, a provider of online training?offer risk practitioners a variety of compliance training programs, all written by experienced attorneys and educators. More information on the Compliance and Business Ethics Training Program and a complete list of RIMS online courses are available at www.rims.org/onlinecourses.
LONG-TERM FOCUS IS KEY
Despite two years of underwriting profitability, the insurance industry should guard against complacency, according to insurance industry CEOs participating in a panel discussion at the 12th annual Property/Casualty Joint Industry Forum. "You really are looking at two good years, over a period of anemic years, so it's not like the industry has returned to its shareholders at outstanding levels over a sustained period of time," said Ramani Ayer, chairman & CEO, The Hartford. CEO panelists agreed that they expect 2008 to be another profitable underwriting year, barring major catastrophes, but not necessarily across all lines of business.
--Compiled by staff from news and wire reports.
February 14, 2008
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