Chubb Limited released their preliminary numbers for net loss estimates related to natural catastrophes from the first quarter of 2018. These numbers include the massive California mudslides and myriad of winter storms that have been hammering the East Coast. According to Chubb, the losses totaled $380 million pre-tax, or $305 million after.
To put those numbers in perspective, during Q1 of 2018, Chubbs reported a pre-tax loss of $206 million and an after-tax of $164 million. That means that Q1 of 2018 has very nearly doubled the previous years catastrophe-related losses. The breakdown is a bit surprising. In total, $125 million of those losses were due to the mudslide, while $115 million were due to the East Coast storms.
Of course, the fourth quarter of 2017 was fairly brutal as well due in a large part to the wildfires that swept through northern California. The last quarter of 2017 brought in a total of $447 million in catastrophe-related losses, with $157 million of that resulting from the California wildfires alone.
It is worth noting that all of these estimates are net of reinsurance, which means they include reinstatement premiums and comprise losses of the company’s insurance businesses and reinsurance operations.
Perhaps the most important thing to be learned from this is that a singular event can generate massive amount of losses. That’s why it’s impossible to compare year-over-year until the year is over. The best we can do is compare quarterly numbers.
In total, 2017 saw a loss of $2.2 billion after tax to catastrophe-related events. So far, 2018 is on track to blow that number out of the water.