Swiss Re estimates its aggregate claims for Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Frances to be below USD 300 million

08 September 2004, New York

Swiss Re announced today that based on current estimates, it expects its aggregate claims related to the hurricanes Charley and Frances to be below USD 300 million before tax. These events will not change Swiss Re's positive outlook for 2004 and its combined ratio target for the full year of 96%.

Hurricane Frances made landfall in Florida on 5 September 2004 as a class 2 hurricane with winds of up to 170 km/h, causing significant damage to property. The insured loss is expected to be in the range of USD 4 billion to 6 billion. Only three weeks before, Hurricane Charley swept through Florida as a class 4 hurricane, causing an insured loss of USD 6 billion to 8 billion. On 30 August Typhoon Chaba made landfall on the south-western coast of Japan as a class 2 cyclone and on 5 September two earthquakes of the magnitude 7.1 and 7.0 struck off the coast of Japan.

The combined effect of all these events will not change Swiss Re's positive outlook for 2004 and its combined ratio target for the full year of 96%.

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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  • cyclicality of the reinsurance industry;
  • changes in general economic conditions, particularly in our core markets;
  • uncertainties in estimating reserves;
  • the performance of financial markets;
  • expected changes in our investment results as a result of the changed composition of our investment assets or changes in our investment policy;
  • the frequency, severity and development of insured claim events;
  • acts of terrorism and acts of war;
  • mortality and morbidity experience;
  • policy renewal and lapse rates;
  • changes in rating agency policies or practices;
  • the lowering or withdrawal of one or more of the financial strength or credit ratings of one or more of our subsidiaries;
  • changes in levels of interest rates;
  • political risks in the countries in which we operate or in which we insure risks;
  • extraordinary events affecting our clients, such as bankruptcies and liquidations;
  • risks associated with implementing our business strategies;
  • changes in currency exchange rates;
  • changes in laws and regulations, including changes in accounting standards and taxation requirements; and
  • changes in competitive pressures.

These factors are not exhaustive. We operate in a continually changing environment and new risks emerge continually. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly revise or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.