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Australian insurer Youi's bushfire losses could reach A$40M

Youi Pty. Ltd. (Australia)'s estimated gross losses, excluding potential reinsurance recoveries, from bushfires in Australia is between A$25 million and A$40 million.

The wide range was attributed to a high level of uncertainty owing to lack of access to some of the affected areas and longer-than-usual reporting delays that led to a larger-than-normal allowance for incurred but not reported claims.

The estimate covers November 2019 through Jan. 8.

Youi's excess of loss reinsurance cover for catastrophes is expected to cover part of the losses. The policy has a "per event" cover of A$9.5 million to A$980 million, with an event being defined by an "hours" clause of seven days for the aggregation of losses as a result of fire.

The clause could limit the size of the reinsurance recovery on the treaty for the current bushfires as it implies that only losses in a consecutive seven-day window could be aggregated as a single event. The bushfires have taken place over many weeks, which means several A$9.5 million deductibles could apply.

Additionally, the treaty features one prepaid reinstatement across all layers and a further A$130 million of drop-down cover to provide sideways cover for additional events.

Youi also has an annual aggregate natural perils treaty that provides coverage of between about A$80 million and approximately A$108 million. Youi is estimated to have incurred between A$45 million and A$60 million in net natural perils losses to date owing to the estimated retained loss from the bushfires, the retained loss from a large hailstorm in November 2019 and other natural perils claims.

The A$80 million attachment point could be reached depending on how long the bushfires last.