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Bermuda Insurers Pay Over USD200bn To US Clients

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
24 November, 2017

Bermuda reinsurers have paid out USD208.7bn to US policyholders over the past 20 years, according to commercial market claims data newly published by the island's financial services regulator, the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

The data shows that from 1997 to 2006, claims payments to US policyholders for large catastrophes, related property insurance, and general liability losses totalled USD56bn, rising to USD152.7bn between 2007 and 2016. The figures are based on survey responses of 250 commercial insurers/reinsurers, alternative capital entities, and insurance-linked securities funds.

More recently, the 2017 hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria led to recorded estimated losses of USD31.2bn net of reinsurance costs for Bermuda (re)insurers. Of this amount, the US and Puerto Rico accounted for USD30.6bn net. Based on publicly available catastrophe loss estimates, Bermuda reinsurers will be picking up 30 percent of the Harvey, Irma, and Maria losses.

Craig Swan, of the Authority's insurance supervision division, said: "The USD30bn or 30 percent of US losses paid by Bermuda (re)insurers demonstrates the key role Bermuda plays in the supply of risk capacity to that country. In fact, the survey results show the significance of the Bermuda (re)insurance market's contribution to the US over the past two decades. US insurers cede risk to Bermuda, diversifying that risk globally, making the cost of buying insurance – particularly property/catastrophe insurance – more affordable to customers living in US danger zones."

Swan continued: "This data and the EU claims data released in September ([which shows] over USD70bn was paid out by Bermuda reinsurers to EU policyholders and cedants over the past 20 years) demonstrates the valuable role Bermuda plays in diversifying risk globally in an increasingly competitive world marketplace."

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