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A lot of gossip

Dear friend,

It’s got to be short and sweet today because I’ve had one of those weeks when my feet never seem to have hit the ground.

And I thought June was supposed to be quiet.

If the alleyways around London’s insurance district are anything to go by, there is an extraordinary amount of deal making and scheming going on — hats off to you all, you busy, busy people.

Here are a few snippets of what I have picked up on my travels — mostly bad news, I’m afraid.

Don’t quote me on this but apparently the Universal Studios fire loss, which was initially played down, is now coming in (the full claim, not the settlement) for a whopping $440m.

Time to get out the underwriting presentation on that one, guys – what was the PML supposed to be anyway?

You would have thought that a studio with lots of different separate stages would be a pretty good write – but it seems maybe not.

Just how much is a papier maché Godzilla supposed to be worth anyway?

Then the oil and gas guys have had a nice little tickle from Apache Energy in Western Australia with a fire at Varanus Island — we believe this is going partly into OIL in Bermuda and some into the open market.

Again don’t quote us because we haven’t had time to check with the OIL people or anyone else for that matter.

But listen to these words from the Apache website from Apache Energy Managing Director Tim Wall:

"Some of the materials required to restore the facility are not off-the-shelf items."

Ouch – every claims manager’s least favourite words. It’s going to be a couple of months before they reconnect, says Tim..

That’s not all — Cargill has a maize syrup plant underwater in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

And Germany, who have had at least one prize indemnity policy taken out on them (sum insured tba because I don’t know yet) to win the Euro 2008 soccer tournament, have advanced to the semi-finals, easing out one of the pre-tournament favourites, Portugal yesterday.

Oh, and the Mississippi may or may not be breaching levees as I write this!

Not much fun for crop insurers, or anything else in its way.

You want attrition, you got it.

But maybe, just maybe, that BHP Billiton loss may not be so bad after all. (I need a lot more detail on this one, though)

And one more thing — another top ten reinsurance broker has just obtained approval and to undertake Capital Markets business, but I can’t tell you who it is!

What a lot of gossip — what fun!

Have a great weekend

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