Insurer Beazley expects $90 million loss from Sandy

LONDON Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:38am EST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Lloyd's of London LOL.UL insurer Beazley (BEZG.L) expects a net loss of $90 million from superstorm Sandy which ravaged the Caribbean and north-eastern United States, including New York, in October.

The British insurer's estimated loss was based on market losses of around $20 billion, it said on Friday, adding the majority of claims will be covered by catastrophe margins.

Beazley expects a full-year 2012 combined ratio in the low 90s percent, it also said.

Hurricane Sandy, which killed more than 130 people when it pummeled the U.S. east coast, is forecast to have caused insured losses of up to $25 billion, making it the second-costliest U.S. catastrophe after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The $25 billion figure excludes flood losses insured by the U.S. federal government and not by private industry.

London's biggest listed reinsurer Hiscox (HSX.L) said last month Sandy would not put insurers' finances under severe strain as it was within the range of catastrophe scenarios insurers use to test their balance sheets.

Beazley shares were down 1.0 percent at 175.8 pence by 6:20 a.m. ET against a 0.3 percent rise in the mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC.

(Reporting by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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