Thai floods set to cost Lloyd’s $2.2 billion, 3rd-biggest loss ever


The Thailand floods look set to cost the Lloyd’s of London $2.2 billion, the insurer's third-biggest loss after Hurricane Katrina and 9/11.

Meanwhile, combined estimates from other insurance groups have already put total cost of Thai natural disaster at up to $20 billion, the Guardian reported on its website.

Lloyd’s said in a statement reported by Bloomberg that the actual net claims from the floods "may vary from this preliminary estimate."

Initial estimates of the damage costs of $10-billion from the floods — which began in July and inundated large swathes of the country’s center and north-east before finally subsiding in December — have risen steadily, Reuters reported.

The floods disabled factories operated by major Japanese and U.S. multinationals, according to the news service, "triggering a shortage of components in the car and electronics industries."

According to Bloomberg, the Thai floods together with the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the New Zealand earthquake and tornados in the US cost insurers about $105 billion last year, making it the industry’s most expensive year on record.

Previously, the record year was $101 billion paid out in 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.

Lloyds, meantime, said it was financially strong enough to absorb the third-biggest payout in its 324-year history.

"The Lloyd’s market is as well capitalized as it has ever been," Chief Executive Richard Ward said in a statement Tuesday, according to Reuters. "Our priority remains to assess and settle valid claims as swiftly as we can. Paying these claims is within the normal course of business for Lloyd’s."  

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