Credit Suisse Sees Major Impact from Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is likely to wipe out the fourth quarter earnings of Chubb, Allstate and Arch Capital Group says a Credit Suisse analysts.

In a research report released today, Credit Suisse assumes a $10 billion loss from Hurricane Sandy, which continued to gain strength as it prepared to hit the Northeast around mid-day Monday.

Credit Suisse based its loss analysis on a $10 billion estimated cost, which its analysts said would make it the fifth costliest hurricane in history.

Meteorologists said its projected path put New York City and Long Island in the danger zone for a huge surge of seawater made more fearsome by high tides and a full moon.

"This is the worst-case scenario," said Louis Uccellini, environmental prediction chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Credit Suisse projected an 84 percent cut in fourth-quarter estimated earnings for the Hartford, and a 62 percent cut in fourth quarter earnings for American International Group.

It projected a 57 percent cut in fourth quarter earnings for Cincinnati Financial, and a 47 percent cut in earnings for XL.

Losses of 40 percent for Travelers and a 39 percent cut for Platinum Underwriters Holdings were projected by Credit Suisse analysts Michael Zaremski and Ji Liu.

The report was based on insurers’ market, reinsurance programs and historical hurricane losses.

The report made clear that losses were expected to be under $10 billion, although “considerable uncertainty” remains, the analysts said.

The report said that, historically, only Katrina and Andrew have caused an insured loss of over $20 billion, $48 billion for Katrina and $25 billion for Andrew, followed by Ike ($13 billion); Wilma ($12 billion); and Charley, $9 billion, according to the Property Claims Services reports.

 The analysts said that Irene, which has a similar path as Sandy, produced $4.3 billion to $5 billion of insured losses, per PCS and Aon.

The analysts said that at mid-day Monday the hurricane was gaining strength and threatening 50 million people.

Forecasters expected the monster hurricane to make a westward lurch and aim for the coast of New Jersey, blowing ashore Monday night or early Tuesday and combining with two other weather systems to create an epic super-storm.

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