Page last updated at 08:24 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 09:24 UK

Hurricanes to cost Lloyd's 1.3bn

Hurricane Gustav storm damage
The hurricanes caused widespread damage

Insurance market Lloyd's of London has said it estimates the damage caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike will cost it 1.3bn ($2.34bn) in claims.

The two hurricanes caused widespread damage when they hit the Caribbean and the US last month.

Lloyd's said analysts had estimated the two hurricanes would cost the insurance industry as a whole $20-25bn.

However, Lloyd's added it would not be possible for some time to have a precise view of the ultimate cost.

"While industry losses from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike are likely to exceed initial forecasts, the claims to Lloyd's will be manageable and in the normal course of business," said Lloyd's chief executive Richard Ward.

"Clearly these hurricanes have had a significant impact on the coastal and inland communities of the southern US states and our priority remains assessing and settling claims as quickly as possible to help rebuild the area," he added.

Last month, Lloyd's reported a fall in profits for the first six months of 2008. Profits fell to 949m, down from 1.8bn in 2007, as a result of falling investment income and rising claims costs.

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