Lloyd's names asked to find pounds 43m

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The Independent Online
MANAGERS of the troubled Lloyd's insurance syndicate 745 have asked 1,750 underwriting members to provide pounds 43m from their own resources to help to meet rising insurance claims.

The syndicate is facing losses of more than pounds 132m for the 1990 underwriting account, caused mainly by a flood of claims from the European storms of 1990.

Laurence Cheetham, a director of the KPH Underwriting Agencies company which manages the affairs of the syndicate, has told other agents who introduced members to the syndicate: 'We must warn you that there will be a deterioration.' Underwriting members will be asked to pay pounds 22m in April as a first instalment and the balance in July.

Because of the mounting losses on the 1990 underwriting account KPH has decided to leave the books open so that liabilities can be more accurately assessed.

The agency's managers are carrying out an extensive review of the background to the losses, and a detailed explanation and full details of the cash call are to be sent to underwriting members later this week.

There is widespread speculation within Lloyd's about the eventual size of the losses for the 1990 underwriting account. Andrew Elliott, an underwriter working closely on sorting out the problems of the syndicate, admitted yesterday that some speculation at Lloyd's had suggested that the eventual loss could be as high as 1,000 per cent of the syndicate's financial capacity.

If that happened, it would mean a loss of more than pounds 430m for the syndicate.

Mr Cheetham has told other agents: 'There is likely to be a further cash call in the early part of 1994 and you and your names (the underwriting members) will be advised of the estimated amount that will be required in the report and accounts.'

An action group has already been formed among the underwriting members to protect their interests and gain financial help.

Edward Benfield, a professional insurance broker who is a member of the syndicate, has urged Lloyd's to reopen the syndicate's 1989 account, which showed a loss of pounds 22.3m, and hold a fresh audit.

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