April 23, 2010 / 7:30 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Zurich Financial sees $200 mln Chile quake claims

* Zurich posts Q1 results May 6

* Total insurance industry losses could run to $7 bln

* Shares edge down

(Adds details, analyst comment, shares)

ZURICH, April 23 (Reuters) - Zurich Financial Services AG ZURN.VX said on Friday it would take a pretax hit of around $200 million in the first quarter on claims from the earthquake in Chile earlier this year, higher than analysts expected.

The figure was net of reinsurance recoverables and included reinsurance reinstatement premiums, said Zurich, which is due to release first-quarter results on May 6.

One of the world’s most powerful earthquakes in a century hit Chile on Feb. 27, killing hundreds of people as it toppled buildings and triggered tsunamis that ravaged a port town and threatened Pacific coastlines as far away as Japan. [ID:nNLDE61Q02]

The world’s top two reinsurers, Munich Re (MUVGn.DE) and Swiss Re RUKN.VX, have estimated losses for the insurance industry from the quake could run to $7 billion, and put their own exposure at around $500 million each. [ID:nLDE6290ON]

The Zurich claims were higher than expected, said Kepler Capital Markets analyst Fabrizio Croce: “Claims are considerable, considering what we have seen so far for reinsurers.”

Shares in Zurich traded down 0.3 percent at 0718 GMT, against a flat STOXX 600 European insurance index .SXIP. (Reporting by Jason Rhodes, editing by Will Waterman)

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