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COVID-19 pushes Lloyd’s of London to $1.2 billion loss in 2020

COVID-19 pushes Lloyd's of London to $1.2 billion loss in 2020

LONDON (Reuters) – The coronavirus pandemic pushed Lloyd’s of London to a 900 million pound ($1.24 billion) pre-tax loss in 2020, compared with a 2.5 billion pound profit in 2019, the commercial insurance market said on Wednesday.

The 330-year old market, home to around 100 syndicate members, expects to pay out 3.4 billion pounds in 2020 COVID-19 claims net of reinsurance, it said in a statement.

Lloyd’s CEO John Neal said 2020 had been “an extremely challenging year marked by a global health crisis of a scale never seen before”.

“The year was also marked by a high frequency of natural catastrophe claims and the UK’s formal exit from the EU, driving further losses and uncertainty,” he added.

Gross written premiums declined by 1.2% to 35.5 billion pounds in the specialist insurance market – which covers everything from oil rigs to footballers’ legs – after Lloyd’s scaled back some loss-making business lines last year.

But Lloyd’s said premium rates had risen 10.8% last year and rate rises had continued into 2021. Insurers typically increase rates after experiencing large losses.

($1 = 0.7284 pounds)

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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