Everest Re: Thailand floods could cost up to $125M

NEW YORK (AP) — Reinsurance company Everest Re Group Ltd. on Thursday said that claims related to the massive flooding this year in Thailand could cost it $100 million to $125 million after certain premiums and taxes.

Bermuda-based Everest Re said the estimate is preliminary and could vary. It will take several months before the final total is clear, Everest Re said. Its estimate is based on an industry-wide loss estimate of $10 billion to $15 billion.

The flooding, which began in July and continues to affect the Asian nation, has so far resulted in damages of about $45 billion, according to World Bank estimates. The floods nearly halted the country's key automotive and computer parts industries, leading to severe downward revisions for Thailand's economic growth.

More than a fifth of the country's 64 million people have been affected, and more than 600 have died as a result of the flooding, which followed heavy rainfall during the monsoon season and the aftermath of three typhoons.

Everest Re also said it expects its after-tax loss related to the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan to increase by $26 million.  The company had said in April that it expected losses related to the twin catastrophes in Japan of about $320 million after taxes.

Everest's balance sheet remains strong despite the expected catastrophe losses, said CEO Joseph Taranto.

The company will release its fourth-quarter and full-year results on Feb. 8 after the markets close.

Everest Re shares closed up 14 cents at $82.05 Thursday. The stock has changed hands between $73.35 and $94.14 in the past 52 weeks.

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