Insurer will suffer £31 million hit over devastating US wildfires
INSURANCE firm Beazley has warned that it will take a $40 million (£31.4 million) hit from claims linked to wildfires in California.
More than 50,000 people in the West Coast state were forced to flee wind-driven flames last month that burned 240 square miles.
The blaze killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes in northern California and was only contained after burning for more than two weeks.
In a short stock market update, Beazley said: “The board’s early estimate of the cost of claims arising from the 2018 California wildfires is $40 million, net of reinsurance.
“Investment markets continue to be volatile and our year-to-date investment return to November 30, 2018 is 0.5 per cent ($27 million).”
Earlier this year, Beazley said it has paid out $238 million (£183 million) following a string of Atlantic hurricanes and earthquakes in Mexico.
It came alongside a sharp fall in profits for the first half, which sent shares tumbling.
Pre-tax profits dropped from $158.7 million (£122 million) to $57.5 million (£44 million) in the six months to June 30.
That was despite a 15 per cent rise in premium income to $1.3 billion (£1 billion).
Flames consume a building in Paradise, California last month