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The Hartford Expects At Least $325M In Hurricane Losses

With responses to two major storms – Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma – The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said Monday it expects to report $325 million to $375 million in pretax catastrophe losses for the quarter that just ended.

That total includes estimates of $175 million for Harvey, which left Houston with severe flood damage in late August, and $125 million to $175 million for Irma, which passed over Florida in early September.

“Aside from these two named storms, the company’s losses from third quarter 2017 catastrophes, including Hurricane Maria, are relatively low,” the company said in a news release. The Hartford will release its third-quarter financial results on Oct. 26.

For each storm, The Hartford reported more commercial claims than personal. Property-casualty insurers like The Hartford don’t write flood insurance policies, so they were insulated from covering some of Harvey’s most severe damage.

Beth Bombara, chief financial officer for The Hartford, said at an industry analyst conference in New York last month that the company is not a major player in the insurance market in either Florida or Texas.

The Travelers Cos. reported last month an estimated range of $375 million to $750 million for Harvey but has provided no estimate for Irma.

Elyse Greenspan, an analyst with Wells Fargo Securities, said total losses industrywide are estimated at $20 billion for Harvey, $30-40 billion for Irma and $20-30 billion for Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico. But the losses were not expected to dramatically shift insurance stocks.

“We expect the [property and casualty insurance] industry to lose about $85 billion of capital,” she wrote in a note to investors. “Given that the insurance and reinsurance industries sit and record capital positions, we do not expect to see a cycle turn.”

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