Alterra forecasts 3Q crop and catastrophe losses

NEW YORK -- Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd. said Monday that it expects to book third-quarter underwriting losses of $22.5 million related to U.S. crop failures this summer, and $10 million to $15 million from events such as Hurricane Isaac.

Alterra provides insurance and reinsurance to companies, governmental groups and other insurers. The company said the crop-related losses were within its previous estimates. The catastrophe damage estimate is mostly related to Hurricane Isaac, and the losses are mainly in its U.S. insurance business. All sums are pretax.

The U.S. has been experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades, and conditions have been particularly harsh in many of the key Midwest and Plains farming states, which has hurt yields of many crops.

Shares of Alterra Capital rose 20 cents to close at $24.17 on Monday.