Omega expects £25m losses so far this year

CATASTROPHES in the first three months of 2011 are expected to cause losses of $40.7m (£25m) Lloyd’s insurer Omega Insurance, said yesterday.

Omega believes losses from Japan’s dual earthquake and tsunami catastrophes will reach $23.6m, but stressed that the “significant uncertainty surrounding the total market loss of this event” meant it was hard to assess the final cost of the disasters.

It based its estimate on a $25bn global loss from the two disasters, and said its losses were net of reinsurance and payments needed to reinstate its reinsurance protection.

The floods that devastated Queensland in Australia in January will cost it $7.6m in losses, while the earthquake to hit Christchurch in New Zealand in February will cost it $9.5m, it said.

The losses also mean it has foregone $5m of managing agency profit commission on the events, it said.