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Fires, typhoons push Swiss Re's Q4 claims burden to $1.3 billion

** FILE ** The headquarters of Swiss Reinsurance Company Swiss Re at the Mythenquai in Zurich, Nov. 18, 2005. Swiss Re, the worlds second largest reinsurer plans to cut up to 1700 jobs following the acquisition of General Electric Co's GE Insurance Solutions unit in November 2005, CEO designate Jacques Aigrain said Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2006, in an interview with the Financial Times. Swiss Re has a total staff of 9000 in Zurich, Switzerland, while GE Insurance Solution employs a total workforce of
Steffen Schmidt

Reinsurer Swiss Re expects a $1.3 billion claims burden from natural and man-made catastrophes in the fourth quarter, as California wildfires, Asian typhoons and the loss of a satellite hit its results at the end of 2018.

The Zurich-based reinsurer said on Tuesday it expects the year-end rough patch to result in a pre-tax combined claims burden from natural catastrophes and large man-made disasters of $2.9 billion for the full year 2018.

Industry-wide, the company sees global insured losses of $81 billion, well shy of the record figure of $144 billion of 2017. The 2018 estimate, if it holds, would be the fourth highest on record, Swiss Re said.

The deadly Camp and Woolsey wildfires in California, which killed 85 people and destroyed more than 20,000 buildings, will result in claims for Swiss Re of about $375 million, it said, while the company's estimate for Typhoons Jebi and Trami in Asia increased by $320 million in the period.

A major satellite loss, a large industrial fire in Germany and a further increase in the estimated claims of Columbia's Ituango dam flooding also weighed, Swiss Re added.

"The last quarter of 2018 was severely impacted by natural catastrophes," said Edouard Schmid, Swiss Re's Group Chief Underwriting Officer, in a statement.

"We are working closely with our clients to ensure affected people and communities are supported."