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Zurich sees $550m hit from Hurricane Ian, premium hikes



(Reuters) – Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. expects a $550 million pretax net hit from Hurricane Ian, it said Thursday, although it is on track to beat its financial targets for 2020-2022, helped by premium increases.

Insurers face potential losses of up to $60 billion from Hurricane Ian, which ravaged Florida and the Carolinas in September in what could be the second largest natural disaster loss in US history.

Climate change contributes to greater losses for insurance companies from natural disasters.

Europe’s fifth-largest insurer said it saw its total catastrophe loss ratio in the first nine months about two percentage points above long-term trends.

Zurich is holding an investor day next week when it will set out its goals for 2023-2025.

“The group continues to be on track to exceed its strategic and financial targets for the 2020-2022 cycle,”

; Group Chief Financial Officer George Quinn said in a trading statement, pointing to “robust premium increases across the group.”

Zurich reported property and casualty premiums rose 8% to $33.5 billion in the first nine months, a 13% gain on a like-for-like basis.

The insurer said annual life premium equivalent fell 6% but rose 2% on a like-for-like basis that adjusts for currency movements, acquisitions and divestitures.

Zurich’s Swiss Solvency Test capital ratio was estimated at 252% on September 30, up from 212% a year ago, a sign of greater capital strength.


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