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Fourth quarter flood losses ding U.K. nonlife profits

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While a series of weather-related losses dented the profits of U.K. nonlife insurers in 2015, those losses fell within annual budget expectations for such losses, Fitch Ratings Ltd. said Wednesday.

According to Fitch's U.K. Non-Life Company Market Insurance Results Dashboard, published Wednesday, while U.K. nonlife insurers suffered losses after a series of flood events in the last quarter of 2015, benign weather losses in the rest of the year meant that annual weather-related loss expectations were not exceeded in most cases.

Those losses likely will not lead to a hike in rates for household coverages in the United Kingdom, Fitch said, although the introduction Monday of Flood Re Ltd., a government-backed, insurer-funded program for high-flood-risk residential properties, and the increase in insurance premium tax announced last month may prompt some insurers to slow the recent fall in rates or even introduce a modest increase

The investment incomes of many U.K. nonlife insurers were hit by lower yields in 2015, and this trend likely will continue in 2016, Fitch said.

Most U.K. nonlife insurers reported strong Solvency II capital ratios at the end of 2015, according to the report.