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Lloyd's says ready for Japan claims


Lloyd's says ready for Japan claims


The Lloyd’s of London insurance market has said it will be able to deal easily with claims from Japan’s earthquake.

It is confident that its businesses have enough capital to withstand Japanese payouts of up to 45 billion euros even though natural disasters almost halved its profit last year.

Lloyd’s plans to give an initial estimate of how much the quake will actually cost it in May.

The world’s oldest insurance market announced 2010 pretax profit that was down 43 percent to 2.5 billion euros as a result of catastrophes including earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand and floods in Australia.

The market, made up of over 70 competing insurance and reinsurance syndicates who provide cover against large-scale, complex risks, was also hit by a 29 percent drop in investment income amid weaker financial markets and low interest rates.

Outside Japan, global reinsurers are expected to be most exposed, with sector leaders Munich Re and Swiss Re estimating their losses at 1.5 billion euros and 852 million euros respectively.

The Japanese quake came hard on the heels of a spate of natural and man-made disasters in 2010, contrasting with a relative lack of such events the previous year.

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