Thursday 8 November 2018 8:16 pm

Beazley hit with $105m hurricane costs

Lloyds of London insurer Beazley today said it expects costs of roughly $105m after a series of natural disasters in the US and Asia.

Beazley said the payouts following hurricanes Florence and Michael and typhoons Jebi and Trami are in line with expectations.

But the insurer, which covers a range of areas including kidnapping and terrorism, said gross written premiums rose 11 per cent to $1.9bn ($1.4bn) for the nine months to the end of September. It said the US market remains the driving force behind its growth.

The company’s property team has benefited from rate changes following last year’s natural catastrophes. Premiums increased 21 per cent year on year to $340m.

In October insurers Swiss Re estimated costs of roughly $1.1bn in its third quarter from natural disasters.

Beazley announced it will no longer underwrite construction and engineering business, an area that accounted for 10 per cent of the divisions premiums in 2017, saying it would not satisfy its profitability expectations.

Chief executive Andrew Horton said: "Our business continues to deliver double digit premium growth and has been aided by higher rates in some classes following last year's catastrophe losses.”

He added: “Geographically, the main engine of our premium growth continues to be the US market, where we saw premiums rise 18% relative to the first nine months of last year. We expect this positive momentum to continue and are aiming to deliver high single digit growth for the group again in 2019."

City A.M. yesterday named Beazley as the second tenant in Twentytwo, the City’s tallest skyscraper. The insurers will take 50,000 square feet (sq ft) over two floors when the building is completed late next year.