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Aon Benfield Forecasts Potential Impact on the Insurance Industry Resulting From the Alleged Madoff Scandal

LONDON and CHICAGO, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aon Benfield, the world's premier reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor, released today a preliminary forecast of direct insured losses resulting from the alleged Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.


"While the maximum potential exposed insurance limits are estimated to be over $6 billion, the range of direct insured losses will be a far smaller number, most likely somewhere between $760 million and $3.8 billion, with a best estimate of $1.8 billion," said Stephen Mildenhall, head of Aon Benfield's Actuarial and Enterprise Risk Management practice. "These figures represent material costs, but are not likely to have a significant impact on the insurance industry," he continued.

The high end of the likely range of insured losses represents less than 20 loss ratio points on global Directors & Officers, Errors & Omissions, and Fidelity premium. Since most insurance claims will be concentrated in the financial institution sector, the loss ratio within this specific segment may be significant. Based on estimated financial institution insurance premiums, the loss ratio impact could range from 40 to 180 loss ratio points in this specific segment. Given the claims-made nature of most professional liability coverage, losses would likely be spread over policy years 2007 and 2008 (or report years 2008 and 2009).

"When the effect of this scandal is combined with the impact of the ongoing credit crisis, many insurers will see profitability deteriorate even further in their financial institutions book of business," concluded Mr. Mildenhall. "Optimists may point to a potentially positive outcome -- a more rapid hardening of rates in the professional liability market."

Aon Benfield will continue to update this preliminary analysis and revise results as new information becomes available. A copy of the preliminary report released today is available upon request.

About Aon Benfield

Aon Benfield is the world's premier reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor, providing clients with integrated capital solutions and services. The company offers clients access to every traditional and alternative market in the world, through an international network of offices spanning over 50 countries and more than 4,000 professionals. Its worldwide client base is able to access the broadest portfolio of integrated capital solutions and services, world-class talent, unparalleled global reach and local expertise to best meet their business objectives. Aon Benfield is the industry leader in treaty, facultative and capital markets transactions.

    For further information please contact:

    David Bogg                               Kathleen Hipp
    London                                   Minneapolis
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SOURCE Aon Corporation
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