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Insured cat losses at $71B; Axis Capital income warning; JLT, Hyperion settle


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Insured cat losses at $71B; Axis Capital income warning; JLT, Hyperion settle

Natural catastrophe events caused economic losses of $232 billion in 2019, with $71 billion of the total insured, Aon PLC said in a new catastrophe report. The protection gap, which is the portion of economic losses not covered by insurance, was 69% in 2019 the fifth-lowest since 2000.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a request from a group of Democratic state attorneys general and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to fast-track a review of a Republican lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — leaving the fate of the law in limbo until after the 2020 elections.

Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. is expecting to post "modest" operating income for the fourth quarter of 2019, saying earnings were affected by a fourth-quarter loss for catastrophes and other weather-related events of $140 million pretax, net of estimated reinsurance recoveries and reinstatement premiums.

Munich Re Co. is considering setting a long-term net income target of €3 billion per year, sources told Bloomberg News.

Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Ltd. and Hyperion Insurance Group Ltd. reached a confidential settlement on a lawsuit related to JLT employees who left to join Hyperion. As part of the settlement, the relevant employees will continue to be bound by their obligations to Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.-owned JLT, including their notice periods and post-termination restrictive covenants.

Centene Corp. and WellCare Health Plans Inc. said they satisfied all regulatory requirements under their merger agreement, including a review by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Willis Towers Watson PLC anticipates that U.S. mining companies may have to pay up to 20% more to insure tailings dams following a mining disaster in Brazil in 2019, Reuters reported. Tailings dams are often used to store mining waste.

Insurance and reinsurance broker Protecdiv has launched in Philadelphia with a plan to reach $100 million in revenue in five years. It will target Fortune 2000 clients, government and government-related entities.

The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner imposed a $950,000 fine on Chubb Ltd.'s ACE American Insurance Co. and Indemnity Insurance Co. of North America subsidiaries for overcharging 18,000 pet insurance consumers in the state for nearly five years. They were also ordered to repay $4.7 million, including interest, to policyholders by April 15.

CFC Underwriting Ltd. acquired London-based insurtech ThreatInformer, which specializes in data enrichment.

Danish insurer Tryg A/S reported fourth-quarter 2019 profit of 705 million kroner, up from 110 million kroner in the prior-year period. For full year 2019, profit jumped to 2.84 billion kroner from 1.73 billion kroner in 2018.

The London Market Group appointed Liberty Specialty Markets Ltd. CEO Matthew Moore its new chair, effective May 1, succeeding Beazley PLC CEO Andrew Horton.

And the Lloyd's Market Association named Jane Hayes underwriting director. She joins from Zurich Insurance Plc, where she was most recently chief underwriting officer for EMEA.

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Coastal North Carolina property rate deal provokes adequacy debate: The dwelling rate increase settled upon by the state's department of insurance and rate bureau is well below what the industry had sought and the actuarial indication of rate need.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Australian P2P lender eyes IPO; local governments lead Baoshang Bank rescue

Europe: Sabadell, Amundi reach €430M deal; Aviva chair to leave; Tryg Q4 profit jumps

Middle East & Africa: KFH-AUB merger timeline; Shuaa's asset management deal; Tunisia's fintech focus

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng gained 1.27% to 28,341.04, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.70% to 24,031.35.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.02% to 7,608.82, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.15% to 1,163.07.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

On the macro front

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index, the Redbook, the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index and the existing home sales report are due out today.

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