While the industry may be looking forward to making additional profits from a war in the Gulf - owing to few claims and higher premiums - the stock market has shown that it is unlikely to treat the industry kindly.

Fear of war has been sending the FTSE south, and the insurance sector has been following it downward.

But there has been some interest in the market. Two Lloyd's operators are planning to float - with venture capitalists reportedly keen to invest - and a start-up is also looking to make an entrance. Perhaps there is a beacon of hope after all.