OMAHA, Neb. – Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the insurance, manufacturing, and investment firm owned by billionaire Warren Buffett, said on Thursday it expected $2.2 billion in pretax losses from claims arising from the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Berkshire said it would take these losses as a charge in its third-quarter results, but said it would receive a refund for taxes already paid this year and a reduction in tax due for the remainder of the year.
Berkshire's projected losses, it said, are in line with its previous estimate that it would pay out between 3 percent and 5 percent of worldwide insurance industry losses from the attack.
By that reckoning, Berkshire is expecting at least $44 billion, before tax, in property-casualty insurance industry losses. That is well above analysts' most recent estimates of $30 billion or so.
The attack on the World Trade Center is likely to be the most expensive event ever for insurers, surpassing the $20 billion, adjusted for inflation, they paid out after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.