UPDATE 1-Two UK insurers eye $300 million Sandy losses

Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:38am EST

LONDON Dec 20 (Reuters) - Two British insurers said they expected to take a combined financial hit of around $300 million from Superstorm Sandy, confirming its status as one of the most destructive storms on record.

Amlin expects to absorb claims of about 145 million pounds ($235.91 million), while rival Lancashire estimates its loss at between $40 million and $60 million, the companies said on Thursday.

Sandy, which killed 132 people as it swept through the northeastern United States on Oct. 29, is expected to cost the insurance industry up to $25 billion, making it the second-costliest storm after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Lloyd's of London insurance market said on Wednesday Sandy could cost it up to $2.5 billion, making it the third-biggest loss in its 324-year history.

Amlin, one of the insurers which operates at Lloyd's, said it still expected to make a profit this year from its reinsurance business even though it accounted for 80 percent of the estimated Sandy loss.

Total catastrophe-related claims for the year were only "modestly above" the amount it had budgeted for, it added.

Analysts have said insurers' total claims bill for 2012 should still be manageable thanks to a relative absence of major natural disasters in the first 10 months of the year.

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