March 21, 2018 / 7:29 AM / in 8 months

Natural catastrophes push Lloyd's of London to 2 billion-pound 2017 loss

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - Insurance market Lloyd’s of London posted an aggregated 2017 pre-tax loss of 2 billion pounds ($2.80 billion), it said on Wednesday, following a record year for losses from natural disasters. Insurers suffered $135 billion in losses from natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires last year, driving London’s specialist insurance market into the red for the first time in six years.

Lloyd’s had a pre-tax profit of 2.1 billion pounds in 2016.

Major claims for Lloyd’s more than doubled from a year earlier, to 4.5 billion pounds in 2017.

Gross written premiums rose 12 percent to 33.6 billion pounds, while the combined ratio, a measure of underwriting profit, weakened to 114 percent.

A level above 100 percent indicates a loss.

Return on capital was 1.8 billion pounds, compared with 1.3 billion in 2016.

Lloyd’s capital position remains strong, it said in a statement.

“The market experienced an exceptionally difficult year in 2017, driven by challenging market conditions and a significant impact from natural catastrophes,” chief executive Inga Beale said.

$1 = 0.7133 pounds Reporting by Carolyn Cohn. Editing by Ben Martin

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