Record catastrophe claims drive loss

Lloyd's building

Lloyd’s of London is expected to post a loss of less than £1bn for 2011, according to a report in the Telegraph.

The losses were driven by record catastrophe claims, including from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and Australian floods, which are estimated to have caused almost £700m in losses.

Lloyd’s will announce its results on Wednesday.

Lloyd's building

The paper reported that total claims exceeded £10bn, with losses from natural disasters outstripping the £3.4bn hit Lloyd’s took from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the £4.2bn paid out for hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005.

Lloyd’s posted a £697m loss in the first half of 2011, including the flooding in Australia and earthquakes in New Zealand.

Last month Lloyd’s estimated losses of $2.2bn (£1.4bn) from last year’s Thai floods – the worst to hit the country in 50 years.

Analysts say the results will reflect Lloyd’s strong capitalisation with Lloyd’s unlikely to have dipped into its central fund to pay claims.

Aon Benfield has estimated 2011 was the second most expensive year on record for insurers with global catastrophe claims of about $107bn (£70bn).