Morning Briefing: New Zealand earthquake insured losses could be $3.5 billion

New Zealand earthquake insured losses could be $3.5 billion… Berkley launches cyber unit… Political violence, terrorism risks added to XL Catlin program…

Insurance News


New Zealand earthquake insured losses could be $3.5 billion
The massive earthquake that hit New Zealand at the weekend could result in insured losses as high as U$3.5 billion.

The estimate from catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide is for at least $762 million in losses but the damage to homes, business and infrastructure could be much higher. A full assessment is being hampered by continued poor weather in the region.

“More than 80,000 landslides and 2,600 aftershocks have been recorded following the massive earthquake that struck New Zealand’s South Island early this week,” said Dr. Bingming Shen-tu, assistant vice president at AIR Worldwide. “The temblor was the largest experienced by the country since the 2009 M7.8 Dusky Sound earthquake and one of the four most powerful since 1855. Recovery efforts in the region have been additionally hampered by gale-force winds, heavy rainfall, and flooded roads.”

Although much of the impact of the 7.8 magnitude quake hit a sparsely populated rural area, around 50 per cent of the insured losses are in the country’s capital Wellington which was also impacted, including damage in its central business area.
Berkley launches cyber unit
W.R. Berkley Corporation is launching a new business unit to focus on the changing landscape of cyber risk.

Berkley Cyber Risk Solutions will offer insurance and risk management solutions worldwide to clients of all sizes and will be headed by Tracey Vispoli who has been appointed president of the unit.

“Tracey is a pioneer in the cyber insurance space with a wealth of expertise in cyber security related issues,” commented W. Robert Berkley, Jr., president and chief executive officer of W. R. Berkley Corporation. “This will enable us to be on the forefront of providing effective solutions for this continually evolving risk. Demand for such solutions is increasing rapidly in every corner of the market, and the coverages offered by this new unit will enhance the suite of products available to our clients.”

 Political violence, terrorism risks added to XL Catlin program
XL Catlin has added a new terrorism and political violence insurance option to its Platinum Property insurance program due to demand from increased client concern in this area.

“Recent terrorism and political violence events outside the United States have prompted businesses worldwide to consider their exposure and the potential repercussions to their property and operations,” said Michele Sansone, President of XL Catlin’s North America Property business.

The new endorsements help address gaps in insurance coverage provided by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (TRIPRA) which does not cover locations outside the United States.

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!