Zurich Insurance May Say Profit Fell on Floods, U.S. Tornadoes

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Zurich Insurance Group AG, the biggest Swiss insurer, may say second-quarter profit declined 23 percent after higher natural catastrophe losses.

Net income probably fell to $823.8 million from $1.08 billion a year earlier, according to the average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company is due to report earnings tomorrow at 6:45 a.m. local time.

Zurich Insurance said last month that claims from the floods in central Europe in May and June and two tornadoes in the U.S. could reach $278 million. The worst flooding in more than a decade along the watersheds of Danube and Elbe rivers produced estimated losses of $140 million, while the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma City in May resulted in claims of $138 million, according to the company.

Zurich Insurance has climbed 3.5 percent in Swiss trading this year, valuing the company at 37.4 billion francs ($40 billion). That compares with an 18 percent increase of the 30-member Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carolyn Bandel in Zurich at cbandel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net