NJM Takes $300M Hit from Sandy

New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company says it will take a loss of more than $300 million from Superstorm Sandy, the largest loss in the company’s history.

In a statement yesterday, the West Trenton, N.J.-based mutual insurer says it has received more than 52,000 Sandy-related claims to date.

The figure is four times what it suffered from last year’s Tropical Storm Irene, which cost $75 million and was the “largest claims event in the company’s 99-year history.”

The carrier says it has closed an estimated 45 percent of Sandy-related claims and issued disbursements of close to $100 million to policyholders.

Despite the significance of this event, NJM says its balance sheet “is designed to respond to the covered claims of its policyholders in this type of event.”

The company says it is the third largest provider of homeowners insurance in the state with 280,000 households and is the largest provider of personal auto insurance with approximately 800,000 insured vehicles.

Auto loss is related to flooding, while homeowners loss is generally wind related, the company notes.

The insurer’s subsidiary, New Jersey Re-Insurance Co. is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program, underwriting approximately 10,200 flood policies for the NFIP. To date, 4,600 flood claims have been filed on those policies, representing 45 percent of the book.

The company did not release any additional figures related to the program.

NJM's President and Chief Executive Officer, Bernie Flynn, emphasized in a statement that the company's number one priority is helping policyholders recover from the damage Sandy left behind, saying that “we recognize our policyholders need us now most of all. Regardless of the volume of claims, or the ultimate cost, our policyholders who sustain covered losses can be sure of our commitment to helping them during this difficult time. The entire NJM staff, and our trusted partners, have been working around the clock and will continue to do so until all service obligations are fulfilled.”

Yesterday, Travelers announced that it would suffer a net loss related to Superstorm Sandy of $650 million. Its gross loss estimate, pre-tax and before reinsurance is $1.135 billion. 

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