Allstate Corp., PartnerRe Ltd, Hartford Financial Services Inc., The Chubb Corp and the Travelers Companies Highlighted in the

  Allstate Corp., PartnerRe Ltd, Hartford Financial Services Inc., The Chubb
    Corp and the Travelers Companies Highlighted in the Zacks Analyst Blog

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Dec. 3, 2012

CHICAGO, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Allstate Corp (ALL), PartnerRe
Ltd (PRE), Hartford Financial Services Inc. (HIG), The Chubb Corp. (CB) and
The Travelers Companies(TRV).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Four daily picks
are offered free.

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Sandy Insured Loss Hits $22B (revised)

Disaster analysis companies have pegged insured loss from the recent Hurricane
Sandy to reach over $20 billion. This indicates skewed results for the
insurance companies in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Accordingly, the risk modeling company AIR Worldwide has raised its insured
loss estimate from the "superstorm" in the range of $16–22 billion, way higher
than the prior guidance of $7–15 billion.

Another disaster analysis firm – Eqecat – fixed its insured loss projection at
$20 billion, while it forecasts $50 billion in economic losses from the same
catastrophe. One more firm – RMS – expects insured losses from Sandy to hit
$25 billion. All the agencies believe that Sandy is the most damaging
superstorm after Hurricane Katrina and Ike.

Consequently, some insurers such asAllstate Corp. (ALL) andPartnerRe Ltd.
(PRE) have notified that the catastrophe losses from Sandy are higher than
their absorbing capacity. Recently, Allstate stated that it expects pre-tax
catastrophe losses of over $150 million for October 2012. The majority of
these losses are attributable to superstorm Sandy that hit the Northeast,
where Allstate owns about 10.7% of the market share.

Over the past few years, catastrophe losses have not only been augmenting the
claims payments of the insurers but also has been nibbling into the earnings
of the companies, thereby distorting the operational dynamics for quite some
time post the weather-related events. Several insurers such as Hartford
Financial Services Inc. (HIG), Allstate and PartnerRe saw most or all of their
earnings being washed away after incurring severe catastrophe losses in 2011.

Although catastrophe losses moderated in the first nine months of 2012 and
helped the bottom line regain stability, Sandy is expected to erode insurers'
earnings once again. Recently, The Chubb Corp. (CB) deferred its share buyback
program due to the inability to estimate the extent of loss related to the
recent superstorm. More insurers are expected to release hefty catastrophe
losses soon.

Based on the pros and cons, all the above-mentioned insurance companies carry
a Zacks Rank #3, which implies a short-term Hold rating. These stocks indicate
no clear directional pressure in the near term.

This press release is being reissued because it incorrectly included The
Travelers Companies (TRV).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Four daily picks
are offered free.

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