Swiss Re sees policy prices rising further

City A.M. Reporter
SWISS Re, the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, said premiums are likely to rise further in a continued reaction to the unusually high number of natural catastrophes last year, as it posted an unexpected quarterly profit.

Huge natural catastrophes in 2011, including the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, have allowed insurers, who for years grappled with low bond yields, to charge higher prices on property and casualty policies.

Swiss Re said yesterday it had seen premiums rise in New Zealand and Australia, which have suffered earthquakes and severe flooding in recent years and which constitute about 20 per cent of its revenues.

Zurich-based Swiss Re reported a net profit of $83m (£53m), helped by a release of $300m in reserves, a good return on investments and the absence of large natural catastrophe claims.