Lloyd’s of London reported the largest first half loss in its 323 year history on 21 September 2011 – £697 million. Though for Lloyds, it would take much more than this to be a concern to them. Losses suffered by U.S. and Bermuda re/insurers were larger in comparison to Lloyd’s, and that, although Lloyd’s were larger than the average losses of European re/insurers.
Despite the historic loss, Lloyd’s remains extremely strong. The total assets of all of the companies and syndicates which are part of the Lloyd’s market are around £857 billion [AUD$1,340 billion].
Lloyd’s has some great people in charge of Lloyds including the Chairman Lord Peter Levene. who I have been lucky enough to meet. Also the CEO’s Nick Prettejohn and Richard Ward, have brought changes in how the Lloyd’s market conducts business. It has now become a world leader and we use their markets more than ever.
Lloyd’s face an expensive hurricane season in the USA as well the ongoing economic crisis in the U.S. and Europe, especially the crisis in the Euro Zone. This comes after Earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, Floods in the East of Australia and cyclones in Northern Australia. La Nina is forming again which could bring a repeat of these weather events again.
This means Lloyds will put an emphasis on underwriting discipline which simply translates to rate increases. Lloyd’s has weathered the catastrophe onslaught that hit it for the first half of 2011, it could almost certainly weather a financial catastrophe as well. They are traditionally conservative investors and will remain A plus security. You can still put your faith in Lloyds of London.