Lancashire Holdings swings to $23m loss

Insurer Lancashire Holdings has reported an interim loss of $23 (£17m) for the first half of the year, as it increased its Covid-19 loss estimate to $42m (£32m).

The loss for the 26-week period ending 30 June, comes as its total expenses increased by 35% to $253.5m (£195m).

It also revealed that gross premiums written increased by 15.3% year-on-year to $495.5m (£381m), ahead of rate, with the group renewal price Index of 111%.

It said overall it experienced “strong” underlying underwriting performance, with a combined ratio of 88.9% absent the covid-19 loss estimate (106.9% including COVID-19).

Alex Maloney, group CEO, said: “The effects of Covid-19 as a loss event to the insurance and reinsurance markets remain both ongoing and uncertain. For Lancashire, the current estimated impact of the Covid-19 loss event has been assessed consistent with our usual internal processes for deriving ultimate loss estimates, albeit that there is higher uncertainty with this event.

“During the second quarter of 2020, we increased our Covid-19 loss estimate to approximately $42m, from approximately $35 million, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums.”

He added: “As noted in the our Q1 trading statement, Lancashire does not write the following lines of business: travel insurance; trade credit; accident and health; Directors’ and Officers’ liability; medical malpractice; and long-term life. The group also has minimal exposure to mortgage business and is exposed to a small number of event cancellation contracts.

“In a rapidly changing market, we are seeing attractive opportunities to develop many of our existing lines of business and to establish new ones. Our business is well positioned to grow our underwriting portfolio and to develop opportunities to improve the risk adjusted returns for our business and our investors.”

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