Lloyd's says record catastrophe losses led to a loss of morethan $800 million for 2011 as the specialty-insurance marketexperienced the largest catastrophe-claims year in its history.

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In a statement, London-basedLloyd's says it incurred total net claims of $20.6 billion lastyear, including $7.4 billion in catastrophe claims. Lloyd's callsthis the “largest catastrophe-claims year on record for the324-year-old insurance market.”

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Lloyd's notes that the year includes flooding in Australia inJanuary, the second earthquake in New Zealand in February, theJapanese earthquake and tsunami in March, and flooding in Thailand over the summer.

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To put its losses in context, Lloyd's referred to a report fromAon Benfield that estimates catastrophe losses for the insuranceindustry in 2011 amounted to $107 billion.

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“Make no mistake, 2011 was a difficult year for the insuranceindustry,” Lloyd's CEO Richard Ward says in a statement. “Given thescale of the claims, a loss is unsurprising, but it reflects whatwe're here to do—help communities and businesses rebuild after adisaster.”

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He adds that it was disappointing that with the “exceptionallevel of catastrophes,” insurance “rates have not responded morepositively.” He calls on the industry to show more discipline onthe issue of pricing.

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Lloyd's Chairman John Nelson says 2012 will remain a challengein the face of tough economic headwinds, and he repeated Ward'scall for pricing discipline.

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Lloyd's reports a loss before tax of £516 million ($820million at the current exchange rate) compared to a profit of£2.2 billion ($3.5 billion) for 2010.

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The combined ratio deteriorated 13.5 points to 106.8, whichLloyd's says is in line with estimates.

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