Insurance market Lloyd's of London today warned it expects total claims of around £2.4 billion from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the earthquake in New Zealand, and the floods in Australia.
The market added that commercial rates were likely to rise as insurers look to cover the cost of the three disasters in the first quarter of 2011 and the recent tornadoes in the US.
The £1.2 billion of predicted claims from the Japanese disaster makes it the fourth biggest ever to hit the London-based market. The most expensive was hurricane Katrina in 2005, which caused claims worth 4.3 billion US dollars (£2.4 billion).
The earthquake in New Zealand and the floods in Australia are expected to cause claims of £750 million and £406 million respectively.
The figures are in line with estimates for industry losses of 30 billion US dollars (£18.8 billion) for Japan, nine billion US dollars (£5.6 billion) for the New Zealand earthquake and five billion US dollars (£3.1 billion) for the floods in Australia.
Lloyd's said it did not expect any impact on its Central Fund - its fund of last resort - from the three events.
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: "As ever, our priority remains to assess and settle valid claims as swiftly as we can to help these communities get back on their feet."
Lloyd's, a specialist insurance market made up of 87 underwriting syndicates, recently reported that profits fell 43% to £2.2 billion in 2010 after being hit by a string of natural disasters including the earthquake in Chile.Reuse content