Lloyd's: GBP 1.0 billion aggregated market loss in 2018 caused by costly NatCat events

27 March 2019 — Daniela GHETU
Following a volatile investment environment and another costly year from natural catastrophes in which the market paid GBP 19.7 billion in claims (gross of reinsurance), Lloyd's has today reported an aggregated market loss of GBP 1.0 billion for 2018 (2017: loss of GBP 2.0 billion).

The key figures reported in Lloyd's Annual Report 2018 are:
  • Aggregated market loss of GBP 1.0 billion (2017: Loss of GBP 2.0 billion)
  • Gross written premiums of GBP 35.5 billion (2017: GBP 33.6 billion)
  • Net incurred claims of GBP 16.4 billion (2017: GBP 18.3 billion)
  • Net investment return of GBP 0.5 billion (2017: GBP 1.8 billion)
  • Combined ratio of 104.5% (2017: 114.0%)
Last year saw several large natural catastrophes, including hurricanes Florence and Michael, Typhoon Jebi in Japan, as well as the Californian wildfires. These disasters led to major claims costing the Lloyd's market GBP 2.9 billion, significantly higher than the long-term average (GBP 1.9 billion), which contributed to a combined ratio of 104.5% in 2018.

Lloyd's Chief Executive, John NEAL, said: "The market's aggregated 2018 results report a combined ratio of 104.5%, and a GBP 1.0 billion loss. This performance is not of the standard that we would expect of a market that has both the heritage and quality of Lloyd's. We have implemented stronger performance management measures which will remain an enduring feature of how we go about our business. We expect these actions to deliver progressive performance improvement across the market beginning in 2019 and in the years to come.

Lloyd's total assets grew by 9% to GBP 118.0 billion, while net resources increased by 2% to GBP 28.2 billion. Meanwhile, Lloyd's central assets also saw growth of 8% to GBP 3.2 billion, which shows an improving financial position despite the substantial claims paid.

Against a backdrop of global uncertainty and challenging market conditions, Lloyd's 2018 aggregated results showed green shoots of improvement. After several years of rate softening, the pricing environment strengthened by 3.2% on renewal business and the beginning of improvement in the attritional loss ratio which reduced 1.3% on the previous year.

Lloyd's press release today states that the market continued to focus on driving improved performance. A rigorous business planning process for 2019 removed almost GBP 3.0 billion poorly performing business from the market and remediation plans were implemented across all review classes of business. Four new syndicates started trading in 2018 demonstrating Lloyd's enduring appeal and the market's continuous focus on innovation.

Lloyd's is also ready for Brexit with a new Brussels subsidiary, fully operational and already writing risks. This provides certainty for customers in the European Economic Area (EEA) that they can continue to access Lloyd's insurance products, services and expertise. The market also made good progress on modernization in 2018, evidenced by a substantial increase in adoption of technology solutions, including electronic placement.

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