Lloyd's insurer expects combined Australia/NZ hit of £75m

Lloyd's insurer Hiscox predicts its losses from the 11 March Japan earthquake will be between $60m and $150m, with a mean loss of $100m.

The estimate is based on the output from the latest published model. The company warned, however, that considerable uncertainties exist in the number. The estimate is based on an industry-wide insured loss of $24bn.

Hiscox said its exposure to the Japan quake and resulting tsunami comes mainly through its underwriting of global and regional reinsurance and retrocessional programmes.

"The tragic impact of the Japanese earthquake is ongoing. Insurance exists to help rebuild communities after the havoc caused by catastrophes - paying claims after such events is what we are here for," said Hiscox chief executive Bronek Masojada in a statement.

Robert Childs, Hiscox's chief underwriting officer, added: "These events will only minimally impair our own reinsurance programme. In the reinsurance we underwrite, we have seen significant increases in rates for the affected regions and expect this pressure to become widespread."

In addition, Hiscox has estimated its losses for the 2011 floods in Queensland, Australia at £15m and the February New Zealand earthquake at £60m. This is based on industry loss estimates of $2.4bn and $10bn respectively.