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Insurer Lancashire's written premiums surge as rates improve

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(Reuters) - Lancashire posted on Thursday a 47% surge in gross written premiums for the nine months ended September as the insurer took advantage of improving rates, while its property and casualty reinsurance business saw strong growth.

Lancashire, like other British insurers, has benefited from rising rates, which helped accelerate the recovery of a sector that paid out hefty claims for a number of covers including business interruptions during the pandemic.

The company reiterated its catastrophe loss estimate to be between $165 million and $185 million, and that included Hurricane Ida in the United States and floods that ravaged parts of Europe. Gross written premiums rose to $967.7 million in the nine-month period.

Hiscox, Lancashire's larger rival, posted robust written premiums earlier this week, helped by a 13% rate increase across its portfolio. The insurer had set aside $150 million in the reported period for catastrophe-related losses.

Lancashire, which underwrites aviation, energy, marine and property risks, had also estimated $40 million in losses relating to the unrest in South Africa this year.

The insurer said it had witnessed new business growth in other segments such as aviation and energy power.

(Reporting by Muvija M and Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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