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Natural disasters hit Lloyd’s

The insurance provider suffers loss after "difficult year".


The British insurance services provider Lloyd’s has posted a loss before tax of £516m for the full year ended 31 December 2011, compared to a profit of £2.2bn previous year.

During the year the company incurred total net claims of £12.9bn, including £4.6bn of catastrophe claims that include floods in Australia in January, the second earthquake in New Zealand in February, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March and the floods in Thailand beginning in July.

Gross written premium increased to £23.48bn, while combined ratio of for the year was 106.8 per cent, representing a growth of greater than 100 per cent in six years.

Richard Ward, chief executive of Lloyd’s, cited various catastrophes as the reason for the loss. He said: “Make no mistake, 2011 was a difficult year for the insurance industry. Given the scale of the claims, a loss is unsurprising but it reflects what we’re here to do - help communities and businesses rebuild after disaster".

He added: “It is also reassuring that, despite this loss, our financial strength has been maintained. It’s testament to Lloyd’s robust oversight and professionalism in the market today.”

Total claims from natural catastrophes for the insurance industry in 2011 were $107bn.

In 2011, investment return was £955m, while return on capital was negative at 2.8 per cent.