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Aspen closes Bermuda-based US property unit after spike in cat losses

Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. has closed its U.S. property insurance unit in Bermuda after the company posted an operating loss of $178.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, The Royal Gazette reported.

CEO Chris O'Kane said during an earnings call that Aspen was "moving away from major accounts that contain considerable catastrophe exposure" as its U.S. property book had sustained heavy losses, according to a transcript.

The decision to cease underwriting property insurance on the Aspen Bermuda platform was in response to a surge in catastrophe losses during 2017, the report said, citing Steve Colton, group head of communications. However, Colton said the move impacted only a small portion of Aspen's U.S. property insurance book and affected three staff members.