Beazley swings to annual profit on robust demand for cyber insurance

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Feb 10 (Reuters) - British insurer Beazley Plc resumed its dividend on Thursday after swinging to an annual profit, helped by rising demand and double-digit growth in the cyber insurance space.

Beazley, which provides casualty and property, cyber and political risk insurance, had a combined ratio - a key measure of an insurer's profitability - of 93% compared to 109% a year earlier. A level below 100% indicates an underwriting profit.

The insurer, which incurred a loss in 2020 after being hit by pandemic-related claims for cancelled events, said its annual gross written premiums jumped 30% to $4.62 billion, with rates within the cyber and executive risk division surging 49%.

Faced with increased demand, major European and U.S. insurers and syndicates operating in the Lloyd's of London market have been able to charge higher premium rates to cover ransoms, the repair of hacked networks, business interruption losses and even PR fees to mend reputational damage.

The Lloyd's of London insurer reported a full-year pretax profit of $369.2 million for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $50.4 million a year earlier.

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Reporting by Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Shailesh Kuber

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