Profit Warnings

Storms Now Buffeting German Insurers

Flooding in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Source: Reuters

An old aphorism holds that “all bad things come in threes,” but for Europe’s reinsurance business, there already have been five costly natural disasters in the past few weeks in North America and the year still has three more months to run.

It’s always a rather cold but necessary calculation in light of the hundreds of lives lost and tens of thousands of homes destroyed in this series of disasters. Investment bank Morgan Stanley said it expected insurance industry losses totaling around €84 billion ($100 billion) when the final accounting comes in from what has been a devastating month.

The fallout in Germany has been swift. Reinsurer Hannover Re and its parent company, Talanx, became the latest companies to issue a profit warning on Thursday, following a similar warning last week from Munich Re.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.