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March 2006/4

  • Michael Bright, the colourful founder of collapsed UK insurer Independent Insurance, will face trial on charges of conspiracy to defraud at a trial starting after Easter 2007, a preliminary hearing at Southwark Crown Court heard today (24 March).
  • A EUR1bn bill from last year’s natural catastrophes – including almost EUR800mn from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma (KRW) – dragged Hannover Re’s net income down from 2004’s 279.9mn to EUR49.3mn.
  • Lloyd's insurer Hardy bucked the trend of underwriting losses when it reported profits of £7.5mn for 2005 on 22 March, underpinned by a positive underwriting result of £6.3mn.
  • Shares in Canadian combine Fairfax Financial Holdings have dropped almost 15 percent percent on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today (22 March).
  • Strong investment income helped French reinsurer SCOR continue its recovery as it recorded a 22 percent increase in 2005 operating profits to EUR242mn, along with a 75 percent increase in net profit to EUR131mn.
  • Wellington Underwriting plc says its reinsurance costs have risen substantially after restructuring its programme following Hurricane Katrina last year. The Lloyd's insurer posted a full-year pre-tax loss of £26.2mn for 2005 as the devastating storm...
  • Despite raising earnings expectations on improved prospects at UK insurer Royal & Sun Alliance (R&SA), analysts at Morgan Stanley believe the company’s stock is overvalued. Equity analysts Jon Hockling and Kathy Fear increased 2006 earnings forecasts..
  • Chaucer became the latest Lloyd’s insurer to make an underwriting loss because of last year’s storms, but post a profit thanks to its investments when it reported its 2005 results on 17 March. Hurricane losses of £68.5mn caused the insurer to fall to..
  • UK Insurer Brit Insurance Holdings plc has replaced house broker Cenkos Securities Ltd with Citigroup while unveiling a 2005 profit created by an unexpectedly high release from prior-year reserves. In an eventful 15 March announcement, the insurer...
  • Defunct Australian insurer HIH’s film finance action against its broker JLT Risk Solutions has ended with its claim being dismissed on 15 March. Despite Mr Justice Langley finding that JLT was in breach of its duty as a broker, he concluded...
  • Inmarsat has become the first satellite operator to insure with newly launched space consortium LibSat. The company is insuring its new generation Inmarsat-4 communications satellites with the $250mn capacity consortium, which was set up at the start..
  • An unusually high currency boost and a release from reserves enabled expanding Lloyd’s insurer Hiscox plc to transform a narrow 2005 underwriting gain into a healthy £70mn pre-tax profit. An increase in the group’s US storms exposures – up from...
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