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Blame weather Insurance industry losses outpace the past
MADISON, Wis. (7/9/10)--Although there has been a recent increase in the number of weather-related catastrophe-driven events, insurers have been financially adept at handling the increased losses, according to experts. A credit union insurer said it is prepared. Disasters have been significantly increasing worldwide from less than 200 events in 1980 to 440 for the first half of 2010, said Peter Hoppe, Munich Re head of geo risks research (P&C National Underwriter July 8). The comments were made during a recent webinar, sponsored by Munich Re, which reviewed the first half-year of natural catastrophes for 2010. “No one can predict catastrophic events, but it’s important to plan for them,” Chad Nitschke, vice president and product executive, Credit Union Protection at CUNA Mutual Group, told News Now.“As the primary property and casualty insurer for credit unions, CUNA Mutual always seeks to offer valuable protection products for credit unions that are priced fairly and that help ensure we have the financial strength to meet our future obligations as an insurance company. “Every year we expect and anticipate our customers will be faced with natural catastrophes, and we work individually on crafting unique insurance and risk management solutions that will meet their needs,” he continued. “We also are prepared from a claims perspective to mobilize catastrophe teams in the event a concentration of our customers are impacted. Individual premiums paid by our policyholders are driven by a number of factors, one of which is actual loss experience. “That said, our pricing plans do contemplate a certain degree of risk associated with weather-related catastrophic events,” Nitschke concluded. While insurers and re-insurers have seen an increase in the number of catastrophes, they still have been able to cover losses, and there is no reason to believe that won’t continue, Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, told the publication. He attributed insurers’ success to their strong ability to underwrite risk and a financial model that helped them avoid the major thrust of the economic meltdown. Despite the economic and risk pressures, insurers have managed to remain solvent, but as the insurance industry goes through its inevitable cycle, impairments may increase in the future, Hartwig added. To read the article, use the link.
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