Lloyd’s of London blames £1bn loss on natural disasters

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Homes and vehicles left in Paradise, Butte County, were all but destroyed by the wildfires

Lloyd’s of London has reported a second consecutive year of losses after after a series of natural disasters including hurricanes Florence and Michael and the deadly California wildfires.

The insurance market reported a £1bn loss, halving its 2017 loss of £2.1bn.

Chief executive John Neal vowed to turn around the market, saying this year would see an improved performance.

The figures come a day after Lloyd’s announced a plan to tackle an “entrenched” culture of sexism.

Last year saw several large natural disasters including California wildfires, hurricanes Florence and Michael, and Typhoon Jebi in Japan.

In total, Lloyd’s said the disasters “led to major claims costing the Lloyd’s market £2.9bn.”

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Firefighters tackled a number of wildfires in California

Mr Neal said: “This performance is not of the standard that we would expect of a market that has both the heritage and quality of Lloyd’s.”

But the group said annual results showed “green shoots of improvement”, with insurance prices rising by 3.2%.

However, research has suggested suggested increased temperatures due to global warming could mean more huge blazes in future as well as an increase in the intensity of hurricanes.

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Mexico Beach saw widespread destruction following Hurricane Michael

The results came after Lloyd’s pledged to bring in new measures after reports of a pervasive culture of sexual harassment at the insurance market.

Last week, women told Bloomberg and the Independent they were “leered” and “letched” at and judged on their looks.

Lloyd’s, where hundreds of brokers and insurers meet to do business, was accused by Bloomberg Businessweek of being “the most archaic corner left in global finance”.