Swiss Re estimates its claims for the tsunamis in the Indian Ocean to be below CHF 100 million

30 December 2004, Zurich

Swiss Re currently expects its claims related to the tragic tsunamis (seismic sea waves) triggered by the massive undersea earthquake near Indonesia to be below CHF 100 million.

On 26 December 2004 near the North of Indonesia, an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale, the strongest in 40 years, triggered tsunamis which caused widespread death and massive damage to coastal areas around the Indian Ocean. Swiss Re would like to express its profound sadness regarding the human tragedy caused by this enormous natural catastrophe. The countries the most affected are Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and the Maldives.

The sheer size of the event and the absence of historical data available make it difficult to provide an exact estimation of the damage, particularly as information from the affected areas is still scarce. However, the claims cost for the insurance industry will be in sharp contrast to the human and economic losses triggered by this event as the insurance penetration in the coastal areas of the affected countries and the concentration of value is comparatively low. Most of the insured losses are likely to concern property damage and business interruption. Swiss Re currently estimates its claims related to the tsunamis to be below CHF 100 million.

Notes to editors

Swiss Re is one of the world’s leading reinsurers and the world’s largest life and health reinsurer. The company operates through more than 70 offices in over 30 countries. Swiss Re has been in the reinsurance business since its foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863. Through its three business groups Property & Casualty, Life & Health and Financial Services, Swiss Re offers a wide variety of products to manage capital and risk. Traditional reinsurance products, including a broad range of property and casualty as well as life and health covers and related services, are complemented by insurance-based corporate finance solutions and supplementary services for comprehensive risk management. Swiss Re is rated “AA” by Standard & Poor’s, “Aa2” by Moody’s and “A+” by A.M. Best.

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