It has been a rough ride for Lloyd’s of London in recent weeks. Just days after Bloomberg reported that sexual-harassment is thriving at the “deeply backward-looking” market, Lloyd’s has revealed it made a rather substantial annual loss for the second year running.
A string of natural catastrophes around the world, including hurricanes Florence and Michael, Typhoon Jebi in Japan, and the Californian wildfires forced the 331-year-old insurance market to pay out £19.7 billion in claims and record a pre-tax loss of £1 billion (about SG$1.8 billion) for 2018. This follows a loss of £2 billion (about SG$3.58 billion) the year prior, which was the market’s first loss in six years.
However, the market is showing signs of turning things around. After years of rate reductions, renewal rates of insurance policies picked up by an average of 3.2% in 2018. Lloyd’s also removed £3 billion of underperforming business from the market following a strategic review of poor performing lines.
The market results come just one day after the Lloyd’s Board and Council, the Lloyd’s Market Association and the London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association revealed a wide-ranging and robust plan of action to tackle an alleged culture of sexual harassment.
The goal is to ensure a safe and inclusive working environment, after an article quoted industry headhunter Barbara Schönhofer as saying that she does not know a single woman who has not been harassed in one way or another in the London market. “Basically a meat market,” was how one source put it.