Chartis, the non-life insurance division of AIG, made a Q1 2011 operating loss of $463m after paying out $1.7bn in catastrophe losses.

The insurer made an operating profit of $879m in Q1 2010, when it had a much smaller catastrophe bill of $500m.

Chartis attributed $1.3bn of the catastrophe losses to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which included losses from the Japanese state-backed private property earthquake reinsurer Japan Earthquake Reinsurance Company.

The remaining $400m of the bill stemmed caused by non-Japan events, including the New Zealand earthquake and Australian floods.

Chartis’s first-quarter 2011 combined ratio was 119%, which included 19.9 percentage points for catastrophes. This compares with a 102.5% combined ratio for the first quarter of 2010.

Parent company AIG made a Q1 2011 profit of $269m, down 85% on the $1.8bn in made in the same period last year.