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Lloyd’s lowers hurricane loss estimates

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Lloyd’s of London said it has paid some $900 million in claims thus far for hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as the insurer also lowered slightly its estimates for overall losses to a combined $3.9 billion for Harvey and Irma and issued a preliminary estimate of $900 million for Windstorm Maria. 

“As more information has become available the latest analysis shows claims in the Lloyd’s market are less than our preliminary estimate,” Jon Hancock, Lloyd’s performance management director, said in the statement. “The claims estimate for Harvey and Irma has reduced approximately 10% from the precautionary figure we issued with our half year results last month. This is a developing situation and there continues to be a high degree of uncertainty around any claims estimate.”

Many insurers and reinsurers have released nine- and ten-figure loss estimates for the September storms, which together with the concurrent Mexican earthquakes may cause industry insured losses as high as $100 billion.

Mr. Hancock said that while experiencing one of the most active hurricane seasons this century, the focus remains on paying claims quickly despite some very difficult conditions in the affected areas, and that while the catastrophes will bear a “heavy toll,” the claims are spread across the Lloyd’s market, which has financial resources of $36 billion.

He did, however, take the occasion to caution on underwriting discipline and adequate returns. “The devastation caused by these disasters will certainly have an impact on the re/insurance sector as a whole. It also serves as a reminder to all companies that, even in a highly competitive market, they must maintain adequate and sustainable pricing for the risks they are insuring,” Hancock said in the statement.