January 15, 2019 / 6:44 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Fires, typhoons push Swiss Re's Q4 claims burden to $1.3 bln

(Adds details, historical comparison)

ZURICH, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Reinsurer Swiss Re expects a $1.3 billion claims burden from natural and man-made catastrophes in the fourth quarter, as California wildfires, Asian typhoons and the loss of a satellite hit its results at the end of 2018.

The Zurich-based reinsurer said on Tuesday it expects the year-end rough patch to result in a pre-tax combined claims burden from natural catastrophes and large man-made disasters of $2.9 billion for the full year 2018.

Industry-wide, the company sees global insured losses of $81 billion, well shy of the record figure of $144 billion of 2017. The 2018 estimate, if it holds, would be the fourth highest on record, Swiss Re said.

The deadly Camp and Woolsey wildfires in California, which killed 85 people and destroyed more than 20,000 buildings, will result in claims for Swiss Re of about $375 million, it said, while the company's estimate for Typhoons Jebi and Trami in Asia increased by $320 million in the period.

A major satellite loss, a large industrial fire in Germany and a further increase in the estimated claims of Columbia's Ituango dam flooding also weighed, Swiss Re added.

"The last quarter of 2018 was severely impacted by natural catastrophes," said Edouard Schmid, Swiss Re's Group Chief Underwriting Officer, in a statement.

"We are working closely with our clients to ensure affected people and communities are supported."

Reporting by John Miller, editing by John Revill

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