Lloyd’s of London is likely to pay out $3.0 billion-4.3 billion in insurance claims related to the coronavirus pandemic, similar to losses from the 9/11 attacks, it said on Thursday. From Reuters  News

The pandemic has locked down economies around the world, bringing businesses, events and travel to a halt and leading to hefty claims.

Global non-life underwriting and investment losses may hit a record $203 billion in 2020, the commercial insurance market added.

Zurich Insurance (ZURN.S) said on Thursday it expected $750 million in non-life pandemic claims this year.

In a double blow, insurers have also lost money due to falling markets, slashing the investments they use to pay out claims.

“I don’t think anyone in our industry has ever seen both happen at once,” Lloyd’s Chief Executive John Neal told Reuters.

The pandemic has locked down economies around the world, bringing businesses, events and travel to a halt and leading to hefty claims.

Global non-life underwriting and investment losses may hit a record $203 billion in 2020, the commercial insurance market added.

Zurich Insurance (ZURN.S) said on Thursday it expected $750 million in non-life pandemic claims this year.

In a double blow, insurers have also lost money due to falling markets, slashing the investments they use to pay out claims.

“I don’t think anyone in our industry has ever seen both happen at once,” Lloyd’s Chief Executive John Neal told Reuters.

Lloyd’s of London insurer Hiscox (HSX.L) is one of those under scrutiny.

“While it’s important to quantify the impact of Covid-19 on the market…we must not lose sight of the fact that this number is a culmination of clients in crisis,” said Christopher Cross, Chief Executive of LIIBA, which represents Lloyd’s brokers.

Neal said the UK domestic property sector accounted for less than 2% of the Lloyd’s market, adding that “any valid claims should be paid”.

Life insurers are also being hit by the crisis, particularly as lockdown measures prevent agents from meeting customers. Prudential (PRU.L) said on Thursday its Asia first-quarter sales were down 24% and it expected a challenging second quarter.

But the crisis is also throwing up opportunities for new products. Lloyd’s is insuring clinical trials and is considering “Recover Re” after-the-event long-term insurance to help businesses recover from pandemics, including COVID-19.

The underwriting floor at Lloyd’s, a focal point for the market which employs nearly 50,000 people, was unlikely to open before August, Neal said.

But some of Lloyd’s’ own staff could start returning to its City of London tower in June, he added.

Source from Reuters