Irma a 'major event' for insurance industry - Munich Re board member

MONACO (Reuters) - Hurricane Irma is proving to be a “major event” for Florida and the insurance industry, Torsten Jeworrek, member of the board of the German reinsurance giant Munich Re, said on Sunday.

The tropical storm is currently sweeping the Florida Keys and is forecast to slowly travel up to the Florida panhandle.

Jeworrek and other insurance executives gathered in Monaco for an annual conference to haggle over reinsurance prices and strike underwriting deals.

Even though Irma may skirt densely populated Miami, “Irma is still a major event for Florida and also a major event for the insurance industry,” Jeworrek said.

Jeworrek said that Munich Re wasn’t especially exposed to Florida. “Florida for us is not an attractive state in terms of prices and margins,” he said. “We are not in the most exposed situation here.”

Jeworrek, when asked by journalists, also hazarded a rough guess for the insured losses for the global industry of Hurricane Harvey, which struck Texas two weeks ago and caused massive flooding.

He said that losses were estimated at between $20 billion and $30 billion, which would put the storm on a scale of Sandy.