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BERMUDA | Major hurricanes put big dent in insurer’s profits

Hurricane damage in Bermuda (File Photo) Hurricane damage in Bermuda (File Photo)
HAMILTON, Bermuda, Apr 14, CMC  –  A Bermuda-based Caribbean insurance company suffered a US$10 million loss from hurricanes in 2016, the most active storm year the insurer says it has ever experienced.

However, the firm, BF&M Ltd, which has a heritage dating back more than 100 years, said it was still able to post full-year net income of US$14.4 million, down from the US$23.9 million profit in 2015.

The company said some of the storm claims were related to Hurricane Nicole, which battered Bermuda last October as a Category 3 storm, causing an estimated US$15 million in total insured losses on the island.

Just days earlier, Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm, had ravaged the Bahamas, one of the Caribbean islands where BF&M operates.

BF&M’s chief executive officer, John Wight, said the combined financial impact of the two hurricanes on the group was US$10.1 million.

“BF&M’s results were particularly pleasing given that 2016 was the most active hurricane season that the group has ever seen collectively,” Wight said in a statement.

“Our performance in 2016 is a testament to the group’s consistent strategy of diversification, both geographically and by line of business, and of careful preparation. We are in the business of paying claims and we plan for years like this.”

BF&M said gross premiums written totalled US$347.8 million, up three per cent on 2015.

Three of BF&M’s insurance operating companies have an A financial strength rating from New Jersey-based ratings agency A.M. Best, while the fourth, the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd, has an A- rating.

 “There is no domestic insurance group in Bermuda or the Caribbean with stronger ratings. Our financial strength means we can be there for our customers when they need us most and 2016 was certainly a year in which this was demonstrated,” Wright added.

Last modified onFriday, 14 April 2017 08:53