California wildfires hit FTSE-250 listed insurance group Beazley to the tune of £35m

California wildfires hit FTSE-250 listed insurance group Beazley to the tune of £35million to send its shares sliding

  • Group also said ‘investment markets continue to be volatile’
  • Shares in London-based Beazley are down over 4% today  

Specialist London-based insurance group Beazley has revealed that the recent wildfires in California will cost the firm around £35.1million ($ 40million) in claims.

The payouts from reinsurance hit the group’s finances after fires damaged several settlements and killed dozens of people in the US’s most populous state. 

In the two sentence update, the group also said: ‘Investment markets continue to be volatile and our year to date investment return to 30 November 2018 is 0.5%.’

Costly: The devastating wildfires in California will hit insurance group Beazley 

Costly: The devastating wildfires in California will hit insurance group Beazley 

Shares in Beazley are down 4.06 per cent or 22p to 520.5p. 

Earlier this year, Beazley said it has paid out $ 238million US, or £183 million, following a string of Atlantic hurricanes and earthquakes in Mexico.

This emerged alongside a sharp fall in profits for the first half, which sent the FTSE-250 listed group’s shares tumbling.

Pre-tax profits dropped from $ 158.7million, or £122million, to $ 57.5million in the six months to 30 June. That was despite a 15 per cent increase in premium income to $ 1.3billion, which is the equivalent of around £1billion.

Gross premiums grew by 15 per cent to $ 1.3billion in the six months to 30 June. 

In its half-year results published this summer, the group revealed its first interim dividend was 3.9p a share, compared to 3.7p a share a year earlier. 

In a separate announcement published today, Beazley revealed it was appointing Christine LaSala as senior independent director at an annual meeting in March. She will take over from George Blunden who steps down from the board.

Chairman David Roberts said: ‘George has been an outstanding servant of Beazley and has been a director throughout the period of sustained growth delivered by the company.’ 

Serious damage: The California wildfires damaged several settlements and killed dozens of people

Serious damage: The California wildfires damaged several settlements and killed dozens of people

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