Lloyd's insurer puts hurricane losses at £20m.

Beazley has reported gross written premium of £595.4m for the nine months to 30 September 2008, up 1% year-on-year.

The Lloyd’s insurer estimates that the impact on net profit from hurricanes Gustav and Ike will be about £20m.

Beazley also reported an investment loss of £26m in the third quarter, derived from mark-to-market losses.

It said it expected rates to rise in the coming months.

The insurer said in a statement: “The past three months have presented significant investment management challenges, combined with an increase in hurricane-related insurance and reinsurance claims.

“Core underwriting activity remains robust and we continue to see healthy growth in the business underwritten by our US operations.

“However, the group has sustained losses both from the global turbulence in the financial markets and through our exposure to the recent hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We believe the scale of both the underwriting and investment losses incurred by insurers in recent months rank them as market-changing developments.”

The statement concluded: “As the impact of these developments becomes clearer, we believe there will be upward pressure on rates and significant business opportunities. We will be reviewing our business plans for 2009 accordingly.”