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Lloyd's insurers expect moderate Baltimore bridge claims

FILE PHOTO: View of the Dali cargo vessel which crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing it to collapse in Baltimore, Maryland

LONDON (Reuters) - Lloyd's of London insurers Hiscox and Lancashire do not expect large insurance claims from the collapse of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge in March that caused widespread disruption, they said on Thursday.

Some estimates for the total insured losses from the bridge collapse run into billions of dollars, given the loss of lives, bridge repair costs and traffic re-routing.

Hiscox does not have direct exposure to the business interruption policy of the port, which is the busiest in the United States for auto shipments, or the property policy covering the bridge, the insurer said in its first-quarter trading statement.

Hiscox said it was one of the reinsurers on the International Group of P&I Clubs' ship reinsurance policy, but said it expected its net loss to be "moderate", without giving further explanation.

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Lancashire said in its first-quarter trading statement that "our potential exposure will be within our expectations for an event of this type".

French insurer AXA has also said it does not expect "material" losses from the bridge collapse. AXA's commercial insurance unit AXA XL is lead underwriter on the International Group $3.1 billion reinsurance policy.

Grace Ocean Private Limited, the owner of the Dali container ship that hit the bridge, and its manager Synergy Marine Pte petitioned to limit their liability to a maximum of $43.6 million in an April 1 filing.

The mayor and city council of Baltimore last week filed a lawsuit against the two firms, accusing them of negligence in operating the ship, and saying the loss of the bridge has caused the city’s economic engine to "grind to a halt".

Chubb, which had insured the bridge is getting ready to pay $350 million to the state of Maryland, a spokesperson for WTW, the broker for the bridge's insurance policy, said on Thursday. Chubb declined to comment.

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Barbara Lewis)