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Best’s Commentary: Minimal Insurance Losses Expected from Panama Earthquake

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MEXICO CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best expects the impact of a recent earthquake centered near
Panama on the country’s insurance industry will remain contained, due
largely to the low impact of the event coupled with low insurance
penetration in provinces closest to the epicenter.

On May 12, 2019, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck a lightly populated
region of Panama near the border with Costa Rica, with the epicenter
approximately 30 miles northwest of the coastal city of David. Few
people were injured because of the earthquake, with minimal damaged
reported to some houses, shops and sports facilities. Published reports
said the tremor was felt in central areas of Panama.

In a Best’s Commentary, titled, “Minimal Insurance Losses
Expected from Panama Earthquake,” AM Best states that it expects damages
to infrastructure and housing to be limited and remain concentrated in
the provinces closest to the epicenter—Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro—where
insurance penetration is low. Therefore, no large claims are expected
for the country’s insurance industry. At year-end 2018, catastrophic and
statistical deviation reserves stood at USD155 million, which
represented approximately 13% of adjusted total industry capital.

While it is still too early to measure the total economic or insured
losses derived from this event, AM Best expects net losses after
reinsurance to impact results marginally, due to conservative
catastrophe risk retention among insurers. AM Best will continue to
assess the impact of this event, including its impact on the balance
sheets of rated insurers.

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To access a copy of this commentary, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=285739.

AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a
unique focus on the insurance industry. Visit
www.ambest.com
for more information
.

Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its
affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

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Salvador Smith
Financial Analyst
+52 1102
2720, ext. 108

[email protected]

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1
908 439 2200, ext. 5159

[email protected]

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908
439 2200, ext. 5644

[email protected]


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