- Insurance underwriter Beazley said gross premiums written increased by 10% to $631m in the first quarter of the year, from $573m, supported by rate increases across multiple lines of business.

Marine premiums rose 3%, property premiums rose 29%, reinsurance rose 7% and political, accident & contingency premiums rose 14%.

'Our property team have benefitted from the improved underwriting conditions seen in the wake of the high catastrophe frequency experienced at the end of 2017,' the firm said. The firm reported a net investment loss of $1.1m compared to a $42.5m gain in the same period a year ago.

'While our investment return is lower than we would have hoped at this stage, US interest rates are now materially higher which will benefit the business going forward,' the firm said.

At 8:51am: [LON:BEZ] Beazley PLC share price was +2p at 610p

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