’Looking to 2023, we expect strong premium growth,’ says market’s chief executive

Lloyd’s of London’s combined operating ratio (COR) for 2022 was its strongest since 2015, despite it paying out more than £21bn over the year due to geopolitical and macroeconomic headwinds.

The marketplace reported a pre-tax loss of £769m in its 2022 full year results today (23 March 2023), compared to a £2.2bn profit in 2021.

Lloyd’s said “substantial” claims from the conflict in Ukraine and Hurricane Ian resulted in payouts of over £21bn to policyholders, with major losses contributing 12.7% to its total COR.

“Market conditions in 2022 led to significant valuation losses across the portfolio, driving reported net investment losses and an overall loss of £769m before tax,” a statement said.

Despite this, the insurer still posted a total COR of 91.9% for the year – a 1.6 percentage point year-on-year improvement and its strongest result since 2015.

Lloyd’s chief executive John Neal said: ”It’s pleasing to see that the large proportion of the COR improvement has been driven by a considerable reduction in the critical attritional loss ratio, which has improved year-on-year.”

The marketplace also reported an underwriting profit of £2.6bn – up from £1.7bn in 2021 – while its gross written premiums rose £7.5bn year-on-year to £46.7bn. 

‘Outstanding result’

Neal described the underwriting result as “outstanding”, adding that performance would “always remain the number one priority, both now and in the future”.

“[The results] follow several years of performance improvement, a comprehensive plan to digitalise our market, steady and sustained progress on our culture and purposeful action to help our industry and society manage the biggest challenges of our time,” he said.

Lloyd’s is also expecting a further uptick in premiums during 2023 and another strong COR performance.

“Looking to 2023, Lloyd’s expects strong premium growth to around £56bn, a combined ratio below 95% and a total investment performance on our assets of more than 3% – enabling us to support customers through the uncertain times ahead,” Neal added.