Assurant, one of Springfield’s biggest employers, expects to record between $287 million and $294 million of reportable catastrophes related to three hurricanes that slammed Texas and the Caribbean in the third quarter this year.

Major Springfield employer sees at least $287M in hurricane costs

Assurant, one of Springfield’s biggest employers, expects to record between $287 million and $294 million of reportable catastrophes related to three hurricanes that slammed Texas and the Caribbean in the third quarter this year.

The company’s Global Housing Division, based in Springfield, provides insurance and related services in partnership with financial institutions and other major clients. It has more than 1,900 workers here, but it’s hiring as many as 130 more workers to handle additional work related to serving customers impacted by the hurricanes.

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Assurant leaders declined to go into detail about the massive losses but said the company purchases re-insurance to cover part of those costs so it won’t bear the full brunt of them.

The company’s reportable catastrophes include any events that generate losses of more than $5 million, pre-tax and net of reinsurance, according to documents the company filed this month with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Documents filed with the SEC show pre-tax costs related to Hurricane Irma anticipated at between $137 million and $139 million. Costs related to Hurricane Harvey were estimated at between $127 million and $129 million, according to information from the company.

“Hurricane Harvey losses were primarily in the state of Texas and were driven by flooding, while wind was a secondary contributor,” the SEC form says.

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Assurant says Hurricane Irma losses were driven by wind, particularly in Florida and the Caribbean. Maria, the third major hurricane in the Atlantic this year, led to losses of between $23 million and $25 million, according to the company.

The company is also hiring several hundred additional employees at its other locations to deal with the hurricane damage. The business also sent teams of workers from locations across the U.S. to areas affected by hurricanes to help policyholders with processing payments related to repairing damaged homes.

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The SEC notice also mentions a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico last month. Claims from that event didn’t meet the company’s threshold for reportable catastrophe losses, but will be included in Assurant’s report on its third quarter financial results next month.

In July, Assurant announced it finalized a $1.36 billion catastrophe reinsurance program, reducing the company’s financial exposure against severe weather and other hazards.

“The company expects gross losses will exceed the retention for its Caribbean Re-insurance Program of $17.5 million pre-tax but likely remain within the Caribbean program limit of $170 million based on current estimates,” the company says in its SEC filings. “The company will update estimates as more information from Puerto Rico becomes available.”

Assurant is expected to release its third quarter financial results on Thursday, Nov. 2.

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