Lancashire Holdings warns of premium pressure in January

LLOYD’S of London insurer Lancashire Holdings said yesterday that premium rates will be squeezed in January – and expressed “surprise” at the optimism exhibited by some of its rivals.

Nonetheless a quiet third quarter, largely unaffected by major catastrophes, enabled the firm to announce a special dividend of around 56p a share – with a total payout cost of $145m (£90.6m). Profits for the period stayed relatively flat at $78m.

The company is confident it can absorb any impact from Hurricane Sandy but warned investors that it will have to wait for final figures.

“It is simply too early to provide any meaningful estimate for reserves,” said CFO Elaine Whelan.