Lloyd's of London facing £2.4bn of insurance claims

Collapsed buildings in Japan Claims from Japan's earthquake will be the biggest from the spate of recent disasters

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Recent natural disasters may cost Lloyd's of London about £2.4bn, the insurance market says.

Claims from the Japanese earthquake are estimated at £1.22bn, while the New Zealand earthquake and flooding in Australia are put at £750m and £406m.

The impact of the tornadoes in the US have yet to be assessed, but Lloyd's said that all the disasters will mean insurance rates rising.

Lloyd's said that its financial health meant meeting claims was not an issue.

Chief executive Richard Ward said: "The Lloyd's market is as well capitalised as it has ever been and, while claims from all three events could still evolve over time, the market's total exposure is well within the worst case scenarios we model and prepare for."

He added: "We expect to see a firming of rate as a result of this first quarter and the recent tornadoes in the United States."

Last month, Lloyd's reported pre-tax profits of $3.5bn for 2010, down more than 40% on 2009.

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