XL Says Catastrophes Cost $240 Million, Led by Canada Fires

  • Fires in Alberta likely contributed $120 million to total
  • XL follows Chubb in releasing second-quarter disaster costs

XL Group Plc, the insurer that expanded last year with the purchase of Catlin Group Ltd., said second-quarter catastrophe costs were probably about $240 million pretax, with wildfires in Alberta, Canada, responsible for about half the total.

Flooding in Europe and earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador also contributed to the losses, the Dublin-based company said in a statement Wednesday. The sum includes $140 million in the reinsurance segment and $100 million from primary coverage.

XL joins insurers including Chubb Ltd. in releasing preliminary results for a quarter in which the industry was hit by costlier-than-average natural disaster claims. Chubb’s pretax costs probably totaled $390 million, the Zurich-based company said Tuesday.

“These preliminary estimates involve the exercise of considerable judgment,” XL said in the statement. “Given that the facts are still developing, as well as the complexities of the nature of the events, there is considerable uncertainty associated with the loss estimates of these events and such estimates are accordingly subject to revision.” The company will post complete results on July 27.

Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. announced Wednesday that its losses were about $65 million in the quarter, led by claims from the Canadian wildfires that were the most costly natural disaster in that country’s history. At Assurant Inc., the figure was at least $22 million, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday.

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