The loss comes after profits of £195.4m in 2019 and was driven by a deterioration in the firm’s combined ratio to 109%, from 100% in 2019.
Particularly hit was the group’s operations in the events and hospitality sector, which reached losses of £248.3m for the year.
David Roberts, chair at the company, said: “The global pandemic impacted a number of lines of business, most notably our contingency book where we quickly settled claims arising from cancelled or postponed events.
“The global events and hospitality sector has been a very successful area for Beazley for many years and we are working closely with clients to provide financial support and flexibility around coverage ahead of its return to full strength in more normal times.”
While profits were negatively impacted by the ongoing pandemic, net written premiums grew 17% to £2.13bn.
He said: “I am very positive about the year ahead. I am confident we can return to paying dividends during the course of 2021.
“We have the capital strength to support our growth plans and look forward to a continued favourable rate environment and expansion of our specialist products globally.”