Lloyd's of London insurer Beazley today took a fresh $25m (£19m) catastrophe hit after upping its losses to $175m following a freak year of natural disasters.
The insurer said it needed to increase provisions for additional claims following the recent California wildfires.
Insured losses would be between $200-300m, net of reinsurance, from natural catastrophes in the second half of 2017. Taken at their mid-point, such losses would filter through to a $175m negative impact on profits.
Gross written premiums for the first nine months of the year were up six per cent to $1.76bn. Specialty lines, Beazley's largest of its five divisions, performed best, rising 12 per cent to $925m.
However, the firm's political, accident and contingency division saw its returns dented by the loss of a major US client and a decision to exit Australia. Gross written premiums fell 11 per cent to $175m.
Reflecting on the extra hit from catastrophes, Beazley chief exec Andrew Horton said "paying natural catastrophe claims is part of what we do".
These events will naturally affect our full-year results but our diverse underwriting portfolio continues to serve us well. We also expect to see rate increases across some lines of business in the coming months.
Beazley guided that its combined ratio – a ratio of losses and expenses to premiums earned – will be around 100 per cent for the full year.