Thankfully, not all claims are this extreme – but each still needs urgent attention to help businesses trade and flourish, and get people back to their normal lives.

Indeed, following the massive tsunami of 2011 that struck Japan with such devastating consequences, Lloyd’s delivered some 6.6 billion yen of payments within just 48 hours of the money being requested by the reinsurers.

 Here we take a look at some of the most noteworthy catastrophes and claims that Lloyd’s has been involved with.

HMS Lutine

Perhaps Lloyd's most famous maritime loss the HMS Lutine. The ship’s great bell, which was salvaged in 1857, hangs in the atrium of our underwriting room.

HMS Lutine

San Francisco earthquake 1906

San Francisco earthquakeAt 5.13 am on 18 April 1906, San Francisco - the seventh largest city in the US - shook, crumbled and burned to the ground. A massive earthquake, measuring 8.25 on the Richter scale, brought the city to its knees.

Find out about the earthquake's impact on the insurance industry


Titanic, an artist's impressionThe sinking of the Titanic was a human disaster that caused widespread shock and outrage. It is also a story that remains strongly linked to the history of the Lloyd’s market, where the ship was insured for £1million.

Find out more about the Titanic

Great Pearl Robbery

Hatton Garden diamond trader Max Mayer had a Lloyd’s policy for all risks anywhere in Europe. His stock included a stunning necklace of 61 flawless, blush-pink pearls. Known as the ‘Mona Lisa of pearls’ the necklace was fabulously precious, and its reputation spread around the world.

The Great Pearl robbery

Great Exhibition of Lyon

Edouard HerriotPolitician Edouard Herriot, the Mayor of Lyon and later French Prime Minister, insured the Great Exhibition of Lyon against a budget deficit. Herriot paid 250,000FF for a guarantee of 3mFF.

Great Exhibition of Lyon 1913


During the first world war, Lloyd’s famously provided cover for bombing raids carried out by Count Zeppelin’s airships.


Piper Alpha

Piper Alpha was a turning point for Lloyd’s and the insurance industry as a whole and was the worst offshore oil disaster in terms of lives lost and industry impact.

Piper Alpha


In 2004 Florida was battered by hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina killed more than a thousand people and tens of thousands were left without homes.


September 11

The 9/11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks, launched by the Islamic group al-Qaeda, on the US, in New York City and the Washington DC area.