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Insurer Lancashire reports Q3 loss on natural catastrophe hits

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Lancashire Holdings Ltd reported a third-quarter pretax loss after what looks set to be the costliest quarter ever for insurers and reinsurers due to natural catastrophes, but said it was seeing some evidence of an increase in insurance pricing.

The property and casualty insurer, which writes policies for heavy-duty assets such as oil rigs, ships and aircraft, reported a pretax loss of $136.4 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a pretax profit of $42.9 million a year earlier.

Lancashire recorded a net loss from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and Mexican earthquakes, of $165 million, which it called an "extraordinary level of loss activity."

"After many years of soft pricing conditions we are at last seeing some evidence of an increase in pricing, particularly in catastrophe exposed lines," Chief Executive Officer Alex Maloney said. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)