Hiscox: Sandy will be third-dearest storm


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The Independent Online

Hurricane Sandy is on course to become the third most costly windstorm in history, the head of Lloyd's of London insurer Hiscox has warned.

Bronek Masojada said he expected last week's hurricane in the United States to cost the industry "close to $20bn (£12bn)", making it third only to Katrina in 2005 and Andrew in 1992.

He also agreed that the storm had given Barack Obama the edge against rival Mitt Romney ahead of tomorrow's US Presidential election.

"It was a huge event that handed Obama the chance to be Presidential. I'd say it's given him a slight advantage, but what do I know," he added.

Mr Masojada said it was too early to calculate Hiscox's exposure.

He was speaking as the company reported a 6.4 per cent rise in the revenues it took from insurance premiums during the first nine months of the year to £1.2bn.

Analysts say insurers are well equipped to absorb claims from Sandy due to their strong cash reserves. However, the hurricane may affect plans some insurers had to return money to shareholders in special dividends or share buybacks.