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Lloyd’s expects industry-wide COVID losses to exceed $107bn estimate: reports

19th November 2020 - Author: Luke Gallin

The Chairman of Lloyd’s of London, Bruce Carnegie-Brown, said at a recent Reuters event that the global insured loss from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will exceed the market’s previous estimate of $107 billion.

Back in May, the specialist insurance and reinsurance marketplace said that it expects to pay customers up to $4.3 billion in claims due to the pandemic, while industry-wide losses were expected to reach $107 billion.

However, speaking at the Reuters Future of Insurance USA conference on Wednesday, Carnegie-Brown said that pandemic-related losses will be similar to the significant $144 billion of re/insured catastrophe losses experienced in 2017, driven by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

According to Carnegie-Brown, Lloyd’s is facing claims from 16 different lines of business and during the event, he stressed how unlike other loss events, COVID-19 is everywhere at the same time and has persisted longer than anticipated.

As shown by publicly reported COVID-19-related losses, IBNR reserves and estimates from insurance and reinsurance companies, the figure is currently running far below this total and at this time, it remains unclear exactly how the losses catch up to the amount suggested by Carnegie-Brown.

This suggests that some surprises could be on the way, or that overall losses from the ongoing pandemic may not become clear until much further into the future, but emerge from this current underwriting cycle.

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