HAMILTON, Bermuda, March 24, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM) estimates that its total net losses resulting from the Chilean earthquake will be in a range of $55 - $145 million pretax, or $40 - $105 million after tax. This range estimate, which is subject to foreign currency fluctuations, is based on industry insured loss estimates for the Chile quake of $6 billion to $12 billion and is net of all retrocessions and reinstatement premiums. White Mountains' estimated loss from Xynthia is $10 million pretax or $7 million after tax.
At this time, most of White Mountains' estimated loss range from the earthquake in Chile has been approximated using third party catastrophe models, applying overall estimates of industry insured losses to White Mountains' exposure information. Catastrophe exposure modeling is inherently uncertain and is dependent upon several broad assumptions including, in the case of earthquakes, demand surge (the localized increase in prices of goods and services that often follow a catastrophe) and zone density (the percentage of insured perils that would be affected in a region by a catastrophe). Historically, there often has been significant variability between modeled insured loss estimates for earthquakes and actual losses sustained by the (re)insurance industry. Also, the property-specific estimation and settlement process for earthquake insured losses can be prolonged. Therefore, there can be no assurance that White Mountains' actual sustained losses from the Chilean earthquake will fall within the range expressed above.
White Mountains is a Bermuda-domiciled financial services holding company traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Bermuda Stock Exchange under the symbol WTM. Additional financial information and other items of interest are available at the Company's web site located at http://www.whitemountains.com/.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included or referenced in this release which address activities, events or developments which we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. The words "will," "believe," "intend," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "estimate," "predict" and similar expressions are also intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements with respect to White Mountains':
changes in adjusted book value per share or return on equity;
financial and operating targets or plans;
incurred losses and the adequacy of its loss and loss adjustment expense reserves and related reinsurance;
projections of revenues, income (or loss), earnings (or loss) per share, dividends, market share or other financial forecasts;
expansion and growth of our business and operations; and
future capital expenditures.
These statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by White Mountains in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors believed to be appropriate in the circumstances. However, whether actual results and developments will conform to our expectations and predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations, including:
the risks associated with Item 1A of White Mountains' 2009 Annual Report on Form 10-K;
claims arising from catastrophic events, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods or terrorist attacks;
the continued availability of capital and financing;
general economic, market or business conditions;
business opportunities (or lack thereof) that may be presented to it and pursued;
competitive forces, including the conduct of other property and casualty insurers and reinsurers;
changes in domestic or foreign laws or regulations, or their interpretation, applicable to White Mountains, its competitors or its clients;
an economic downturn or other economic conditions adversely affecting its financial position;
recorded loss reserves subsequently proving to have been inadequate;
actions taken by ratings agencies from time to time, such as financial strength or credit ratings downgrades or placing ratings on negative watch;
other factors, most of which are beyond White Mountains' control.
Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements, and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by White Mountains will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, White Mountains or its business or operations. White Mountains assumes no obligation to publicly update any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.