Baltimore Bridge Collapse to Trigger Massive Marine Insurance Losses: Lloyd’s of London

Baltimore Bridge Collapse to Trigger Massive Marine Insurance Losses: Lloyd’s of London
  • The Baltimore bridge collapse could trigger billions of dollars in insurance losses, the chairman of Lloyd’s of London said.
  • “The tragedy has the capacity to become the largest single marine insurance loss ever,” Bruce Carnegie-Brown told Reuters.
  • The insurance market’s CEO John Neal also warned the disaster could lead to billion-dollar losses.

The collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key bridge could lead to the biggest losses in the history of marine insurance, the bosses of Lloyd’s of London warned on Thursday.

“The tragedy has the capacity to become the largest single marine insurance loss ever,” the commercial insurance market’s chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown said in an interview with Reuters.

Meanwhile, Lloyd’s CEO John Neal told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” show that it was fortunate that both the bridge and the ship that collided with it were insured, even though that could lead to billion-dollar losses within the industry.

“I would say it’s certainly going to be one of the largest marine losses in history, of that there is little or no doubt,” he said. “But genuinely, the good news is that it’s insured.

“When we talk about natural disasters and hurricanes and cyclones, we worry about the people who are not insured,” Neal added. “In this instance, this is insured.

“So, complex and severe though it is, there is at least the financial cover to consider what reparation and related costs are arising from the loss.”

The bridge collapsed after the Dali, a Maersk-chartered ship collided with one of its support beams. The bodies of two construction workers were found by divers on Wednesday, while four others are presumed dead.

Barclays analysts estimate that the disaster could lead to $3 billion in insurance claims, while Morningstar DBRS put the figure at $4 billion.

Both of those figures would surpass the $1.5 billion losses triggered by the Costa Concordia disaster. The luxury cruise ship capsized off the coast of Italy in January 2012, killing 32 people in one of Europe’s worst modern maritime tragedies.

The Lloyd’s bosses’ warnings came the same day that the insurance giant reported its earnings for 2023. The firm posted total pre-tax profits of 10.7 billion pounds ($13.5 billion), driven higher by the strong performance of its underwriting division.