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Lloyd's of London insurer Beazley posts 16% Q1 premium rise

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LONDON (Reuters) -Lloyd’s of London insurer Beazley posted a 16% rise in gross written premiums to $971 million in the first quarter, helped by rising premium rates, it said on Thursday.

Premium rates on its renewal business also increased by 16%, ahead of the insurer’s expectations, it said in a statement.

Insurers have been benefiting from rising premium rates across the board, after suffering pandemic-related losses last year.

“We have had a positive start to the year with good rate momentum that is well ahead of our expectations, as well as continued strong targeted growth,” new chief executive Adrian Cox said in a statement.

“We expect favourable market conditions to continue.”

Beazley said last year that it estimated COVID-19 claims at $340 million net of reinsurance.

It said on Thursday that if there failed to be a return to “some form of normality” in the second half, it could face a further $50 million of claims to the end of 2021.

Rival Lloyd’s of London insurer Hiscox last week posted a 6.3% rise in gross written premiums in the first quarter while Lancashire last month saw premiums up by 46%.

(Reporting by Carolyn CohnEditing by Rachel Armstrong)

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