October 14, 2008 / 1:13 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Selective Insurance sees Ike, impairments hurting Q3

(Recasts; adds details)

Oct 14 (Reuters) - Selective Insurance Group Inc (SIGI.O) expects third-quarter earnings to be hurt by catastrophe losses tied to hurricane Ike and losses on investment portfolio due to the financial market turmoil.

The property and casualty insurer estimates catastrophe losses to be $8.3 million, or 16 cents a share, for the quarter, primarily related to Hurricane Ike in the Midwest.

The Branchville, New Jersey-based company expects third-quarter net realized loss on the investment portfolio of about $15 million, including other-than-temporary impairments of about $23 million.

Investment income will be hurt by lower alternative investment income and a fall in the fair value of Selective’s equity trading portfolio, totaling about $5 million, or 10 cents a share, the company said.

Analysts on average expect the insurer to earn 55 cents a share, before special items, according to Reuters Estimates.

On Monday, several U.S. property and casualty insurers like Cincinnati Financial Corp (CINF.O) and Everest Re Group Ltd (RE.N) posted a fall in value of their investments and said they expected catastrophe losses from hurricanes Gustav and Ike to hurt earnings.

Shares of Selective Insurance closed at $23.50 Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)

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