Swiss Re estimates its claims for Hurricane Jeanne to be approximately USD 150 million

07 October 2004, Zurich

Swiss Re announced today that, based on current estimates, it expects its claims related to Hurricane Jeanne to be approximately USD 150 million before tax.

Hurricane Jeanne was the fourth hurricane to make landfall in the US in 2004, having previously caused devastation in Haiti. Hitting Florida as a category 3 hurricane with wind speeds of up to 190 km/h on 25 September, Hurricane Jeanne followed almost the same path taken by Hurricane Frances three weeks earlier. Industry loss estimates for Hurricane Jeanne range between USD 6 billion and USD 8 billion. Swiss Re currently estimates its claims from Hurricane Jeanne to be approximately USD 150 million. However, given the complex claims environment that results when two hurricanes take the same path over a short period of time, it will take several weeks before customers will be able to assess which damages arose from which storms and their corresponding claims.

Jeanne's landfall makes 2004 the first year since 1886 that four hurricanes have hit a single US state in the same year. The industry loss for the four hurricanes: Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne is estimated between USD 20 billion and USD 25 billion. Swiss Re estimates its claims from the four hurricanes, together with Typhoon Songda in Japan, will be in the range of USD 750 million. The unprecedented nature of this year's storms means that, should claims estimates remain at current levels, Swiss Re will benefit from using some of its equalisation reserves to absorb part of the financial impact of these claims. Swiss Re expects the frequency and severity of this year's storm season will have a positive effect on renewing property reinsurance rates.

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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