The deadly wildfires which ripped across California this year burnt a $40m (£31.5m) hole in insurer Beazley’s pockets.
The payouts from reinsurance hit the company’s bottom line after fires damaged several settlements and killed dozens in the US’s most populous state.
It also faces challenges from difficult markets.
“Investment markets continue to be volatile and our year to date investment return to 30 November 2018 is 0.5 per cent ($27m),” the company said.
In a note this morning analysts at Shore Capital Market said: “Clearly losses are never positive, but the quantum of the loss is manageable (around four per cent of annualised first half 2018 losses) and some level of exposure to the losses was fully expected, in our view.”
“Overall, this update is slightly positive as the wildfire losses should have been expected and investment income is better than seen earlier in the year,” they added.
Meanwhile, Beazley this morning said it was appointing Christine LaSala as senior independent director at an annual meeting in March. She will take over from George Blunden who steps down from the board.
Chairman David Roberts said: “George has been an outstanding servant of Beazley and has been a director throughout the period of sustained growth delivered by the company.”
Some of the worst wildfires in California history have ripped through the state this year, displacing families and uprooting entire communities.
In the city of Paradise alone fires killed at least 85 people, with almost a dozen still unaccounted for, and destroyed 14,000 homes in the region.
Yesterday residents were allowed to return to some ravaged neighbourhoods.
Tim Moniz, a rice farmer and welder who recently paid off his mortgage, returned to his house to find it devastated by the fire.
“It seems unfair that some houses make it and yours don’t,” he told Reuters. “I just had to get back up and see it and try to salvage something.”