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Hiscox Says `Too Early' to Give Loss Estimate on Hurricane Sandy

Hiscox Ltd., the biggest Lloyd’s of London insurer by market value, said it’s “too early” to give a meaningful estimate of the losses from Hurricane Sandy, which slammed into New York and New Jersey last week.

The insurer is in a “good position” to absorb any losses given the relative lack of natural disasters this year, Chief Executive Officer Bronek Masojada said in a statement today. Insurers paid out $105 billion last year, with earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand making it the industry’s most expensive year on record, according to Munich Re.

Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York and New Jersey Oct. 29, barreling through the most populous region of the U.S., killing at least 90 people and leaving as many as 8.5 million homes and businesses without power. Insurers may pay $10 billion to $20 billion to settle claims from the storm, according to Eqecat Inc., a provider of catastrophic risk models.

Hiscox’s revenue rose 6.4 percent to 1.24 billion pounds ($2 billion) in the nine months to Sept. 30 following premium rate rises in the U.S., the Hamilton, Bermuda-based insurer said today in the statement.

Premium rates for U.S. property rose 10 percent from the same period in 2011 and international reinsurance rates for policies covering catastrophes climbed between 5 percent and 10 percent, the company said.

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