March 26, 2019

A.M. Best Special Report: U.S. Insurers Continue Funding of Asbestos & Environmental Liabilities Despite Elusive End …


The current estimate of net asbestos losses for the U.S. property/casualty industry remains at $85 billion, with net environmental losses estimated at $42 billion, according to a new Best’s Special Report.

According to the report titled “U.S. Insurers Continue Funding of Asbestos & Environmental Liabilities, Despite Elusive End Game,” the industry had funded slightly more than 90% of its aggregate asbestos and environmental (A&E) exposures as of year-end 2013. This translated into an unfunded liability of $6.7 billion for asbestos and $3.9 billion for environmental. The report also notes that incurred losses have increased in five of the past seven years.

A.M. Best recognizes that fully funding ultimate estimates may be akin to hitting a moving target, given that ultimate exposures cannot be known with precision, especially regarding asbestos claims. Nevertheless, funding efforts continue, as most recently seen in sizable additions to A&E reserves during 2014 by Travelers Group, Hartford Insurance Group and Liberty Mutual Insurance Cos. In aggregate, these three insurers added nearly $690 million to net A&E reserves in 2014, with most of the strengthening on the asbestos side, according to the report.

For a full copy of this special report, please visit:

This report originally appeared in Best’s Journal, dated Dec. 22, 2014. Best’s Journal is a biweekly publication that presents A.M. Best’s original research, analysis and commentary on the global insurance industry and is available exclusively as part of a subscription to the Best’s Insurance News & Analysis service. More information about the Best’s Insurance News & Analysis subscription service is available at

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Gerard Altonji, 908-439-2200, ext. 5626
Assistant Vice President


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Jim Peavy, +(1) 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations

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A.M. Best Special Report: U.S. Insurers Continue Funding of Asbestos & Environmental Liabilities Despite Elusive End …