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Lloyd's of London to pay out up to $4.3B in coronavirus claims

By
Don Jacobson
Lloyd's of London says it will pay out up to $4.3 billion coronavirus-related claims, putting the health crisis on a par with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. File photo by Andy Rain/EPA
Lloyd's of London says it will pay out up to $4.3 billion coronavirus-related claims, putting the health crisis on a par with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. File photo by Andy Rain/EPA

May 14 (UPI) -- British insurance market Lloyd's of London said Thursday it will likely pay out up to $4.3 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, putting the crisis on a par with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

That level of damages -- one of the largest insurance payouts in history -- is also equal to the combined impact of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017.

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Lloyd's also warned that COVID-19 claims could rise further if the lockdowns now affecting many parts of the world continue into the summer.

"What makes COVID-19 unique is the not just the devastating continuing human and social impact, but also the economic shock," said CEO John Neal. "Taking all those factors together will challenge the industry as never before, but we will keep focused on supporting our customers and continuing to pay claims over the weeks and months ahead."

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A Lloyd's analysis concluded the pandemic will cost the entire global insurance industry $203 billion in losses. That figure assumes continued social distancing and lockdown measures through the rest of this year and factors in forecasts of a steep drop in global economic growth.

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It also includes an expected decline of $96 billion in the value of investment portfolios held by insurance companies.

Neal said Lloyd's has donated more than $18 million to charities and is using a similar amount as seed capital "to explore how the industry can create or house structures which support economic recovery and mitigate against future events of this magnitude."

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