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August 2003/5

  • Despite recording healthy half yearlies significantly outpacing analysts’ expectations, Zurich Financial Services (ZFS) continues to be clouded by concerns over its loss-making finite reinsurance arm Centre.
  • Quoted Lloyd’s insurer Hiscox plc announced bullish trading figures last week and took the opportunity to resolve the growing uncertainty over its World Trade Center provisions.
  • Despite continuing optimism that the North American power blackout on 14 August will not lead to major industry exposures, losses are still likely to breach the technical threshold of $25mn for a catastrophe.
  • Releases from prior year loss reserves have helped Hardy Underwriting Ltd improve its profit estimates on the 2001 year of its Lloyd’s Syndicate 382.
  • Sovereign Risk Insurance Ltd, the political risk insurer set up as a joint venture between Bermudian giants ACE Ltd and XL Capital Ltd, revealed net written premiums of $48.6mn (GWP $60.5mn) for the year ending 30 June 2003.
  • After an eight-year dispute with claimant Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing (3M), insurers lost a $250mn legal battle over liability associated with silicone gel breast implants.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Brit Insurance Holdings Plc revealed that 2002 forecasts for its flagship Syndicate 2987 have improved, leading to the possibility of a return equivalent to 15 percent on its £450mn capacity.
  • QBE boss Frank O’Halloran is confident his Australian based (re)insurer can exceed 2003 forecasts after delivering upbeat interims last week.
  • Kiln became the latest Lloyd’s insurer to paint an attractive picture of 2002’s prospects when unveiling its syndicate forecasts this morning (26 August).
  • Litigation Control Group Ltd, the insurance services company formed by ex-Lloyd’s debt collector Philip Holden, has acquired Trenwick Group’s run-off insurer Trenwick International Ltd.