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Hiscox hit by natural disasters

Floods, earthquakes and the UK's winter freeze are likely to have cost Hiscox more than £130m.

According to the insurance firm, earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand in addition to the violent windstorms that swept Europe early last year, meant around £115m in claims were made by policy holders.

The firm now estimate that the recent bad weather in the UK during November and December will see those in jobs in insurance companies deal with around £15m worth of claims, BBC News reports.

In a trading update statement Hiscox said that it was still assessing the possible impact the severe flooding in Australia will have on it. However, the company believed it had an "underweight" exposure in this area, according to a Reuters report.

Data from the Insurance Council of Australia estimated that the cost of the devastating floods in Queensland for insurers was likely to be around the $1 billion. However, it is thought reinsurance will cover more than half of it.

Hiscox said: "Although 2010 was marked by many significant and expensive catastrophes, most of these occurred in areas where Hiscox had deliberately reduced exposure due to weak rates."

The firm added that although bad weather had resulted in a rise in UK insurance claims, it's household division "remains on track to make a healthy profit."

To read a case study from a Hiscox employee, click here.

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