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Hiscox sets aside $75 million to pay out catastrophe claims

(Reuters) - Insurer Hiscox HSX.L said on Monday it reserved $75 million (58 million pounds) for catastrophe claims in the third quarter and flagged further exposure to event cancellations if COVID-19 curbs continue into the new year.

Hiscox said it has an additional $30 million to $40 million potential exposure to event cancellation, which would be recognised in 2021 if events are unable to proceed.

It kept its previous estimate for pandemic-related claims of $387 million.

In relation to a court ruling that some insurers including Hiscox had wrongly rejected thousands of business interruption claims, the company said it was continuing talks with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), action groups and other insurers to resolve the matter.

The FCA, a customer action group and the six defendant insurers have applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Hiscox also said the severity of individual catastrophe events was relatively lower, but there was a high frequency of natural disasters, with the most active North American wind season on record and another significant wildfire season in California.

Gross written premiums climbed 2% to $3.26 billion for the nine months ended Sept. 30.

Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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