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Tornadoes latest catastrophe to hit insurer's books

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Baldwin & Lyons Inc. expects to lose another $10 million due to worldwide catastrophes that occurred in the first half of the year, the Indianapolis-based property and casualty insurer reported Tuesday.

The tornadoes that hit Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Joplin, Mo., are the latest events that caused damage to the auto and trucking fleets Baldwin & Lyons insures. The company estimates the tornadoes will yield $6.5 million in losses, even after tax considerations, during the second quarter, which ends June 30.

On top of that, Baldwin & Lyons said it will record another $3.6 million in second-quarter losses caused by a February earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the March earthquake in Sendai, Japan, which caused a nuclear scare.

The earthquakes, along with flooding in Australia, already cost Baldwin $14.2 million during the first quarter, leading the company to a $15.2 million quarterly loss, or $1.02 per share.

During the first quarter the year before, Baldwin & Lyons made a profit of $545,000.

The estimated losses in 2011 already put Baldwin & Lyons ahead of a record-setting 2010, in which the company paid out $24 million, after taxes, to repair damage caused by an earthquake in Chile and windstorms in Australia and Europe.

In a statement, Baldwin cautioned that its catastrophic loss estimates are based on its discussions with its reinsurance companies and client brokers, and rely heavily on modeling. The actual losses could turn out to be different from the estimates.

Baldwin & Lyons will report its second quarter financial results on Aug. 4.

 

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  • TORNADO DAMAGE
    While Baldwin & Lyons is in business to cover damage caused by tornados, there was widespread catastrophic damage in this case, enough to strain any insurer.
  • And...?
    Isn't this what the business of insurance is supposed to be about? Loss? This article is written to make this sound like an awful catastrophe for the company, when reality is that this is what they are in the business of covering. If they are investing their capital correctly and are managing their books correctly, they should have PLENTY of money to cover their CLIENT'S losses, especially considering how much they charge for premiums over the long haul. If they are losing that much, it more likely means that there are too many fat cats raking it in at the top (as usual) that could be cut easily which could help repair things a bit. I have no sympathy for insurance companies whatsoever when they whine about losses.

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