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Bushfire insurance losses nearing A$1B; January renewals orderly; Iran crash


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Bushfire insurance losses nearing A$1B; January renewals orderly; Iran crash

The Insurance Council of Australia said estimated insurance losses from catastrophic bushfires have reached A$939 million as of Jan. 10. Insurers have received 10,550 claims related to the bushfires in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. Combined bushfire catastrophe losses since Sept. 5 are pegged at A$995 million.

Aon PLC said that despite new market dynamics, programs renewed in an "orderly fashion" during the January renewals. This occurred in spite of further client differentiation in reinsurer underwriting approaches, concerns over retrocession leading into the renewal season and "evolving" loss dynamics from several business segments.

Also, reinsurer capital increased 7% through the first nine months of 2019 to $625 billion from $585 billion. Traditional reinsurance capital increased 9% to $532 billion, while alternative capital decreased to $93 billion from $97 billion.

Aviation war and all risks insurers are bracing for a claims dispute after Iran refused to hand over the black box of a Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800 that crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport, The Insurance Insider reported. It is still unclear whether hull costs would be covered by the airline's aviation all risks policy or its war insurance policy, according to sources. There have been reports that Western officials believe that the plane was accidentally shot down.

American International Group Inc.'s international general insurance CEO, Chris Townsend, stepped down, the Insider wrote.

United Insurance Holdings Corp. has renewed its reinsurance agreements, which provide coverage for in-force, new and renewal business, effective Jan. 1.

The European Commission approved Banco Santander SA's acquisition of a 60% stake in Allianz Popular SL from Allianz Group.

Brewer Lane Ventures, a venture capital company focused on investing in the insurtech and fintech industries, announced its launch.

Indonesia could make a number of moves, including building an insurance holding company, to make sure that PT Asuransi Jiwasraya (Persero) is able to pay customers' matured policies, The Jakarta Post reported, citing State-owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir. A 2019 audit found that the state-owned insurer had 27.2 trillion rupiah, or $1.96 billion, of negative equity in its books, according to Bloomberg News.

Jackson National Life Insurance Co., Jackson National Life Distributors LLC and Jackson National Life Insurance Co. of New York will pay $20.5 million to 21 female and African American complainants to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit. The lawsuit claimed that Jackson tolerated a work environment hostile to female and African American employees in its Denver and Nashville offices.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Tremors shine light on scale of Puerto Rico's earthquake insurance market: Although U.S. states along the Pacific coast tend to be most commonly associated with seismic activity, recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico offer a reminder of the varied geographic scope of the potential risks.

Top 20 European insurance companies by market cap, Q4'19

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Vietnam to raise 4 banks' capital; Westpac to review operations

Europe: MPS sees €1.2B profit hit; Carney signals more stimulus; Santander sells CoCos

Middle East & Africa: World Bank cuts global growth forecast; Bank of Israel holds key rate

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.27% to 28,638.20, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.47% to 23,850.57.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.02% to 7,599.56, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.05% to 1,159.24.

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 employment situation report, the wholesale trade report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

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