By: Suzanne Barlyn, Insurance Journal, September 2017

Ratings downgrades for global insurers and reinsurers are becoming more probable as they face more than $100 billion in 2017 catastrophe losses, a figure that threatens to weaken their capital reserves, Fitch Ratings Inc. said in a report on Tuesday.

Losses from Hurricane Maria, which could be as much as $85 billion, along with those of other recent 2017 catastrophes, including Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, the Mexico City earthquakes and other events, will force some reinsurers to dip into their capital, Fitch said.

Still, “very strong” capital levels among those reinsurers limit risks to solvency, Fitch said.

Fitch said it has not yet identified any companies with “disproportionate” exposures.

Global reinsurers are “likely the most exposed to these events,” Fitch said. However, some larger primary insurers in the United States and global insurers “will report material catastrophe losses,” Fitch said.

Insurance Journal