Estimated losses from Hurricane Isaac range from $0.5 billion to $2 billion, numbers that Fitch Ratings says are manageable for primary insurers located in the U.S. and the global reinsurance industry.
“If actual losses from Hurricane Isaac end up within current ranges, primary insurers will bear most of the loss,” said Chris Grimes, associate director at Fitch. As the overall industry entered the hurricane season with a favorable capital position, it is unlikely that many insurers will require significant capital-raising activity to offset losses from Isaac and additional inland storms which emerged earlier in 2012, according to Fitch’s “Hurricane Isaac: Losses Bearable for Insurance Industry” report. “However, as incurred losses rise, the chances of losses being allocated to the reinsurance industry increase,” Grimes said.
Hurricane forecasting organizations generally expected 2012 to generate a below-average number of storms along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. However, September is historically the most active month of hurricane season. So as the remaining three months of the Atlantic hurricane season unfold, sizeable catastrophe losses that emerge from additional events may lead to greater ratings vulnerability for reinsurers.
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