Nov 3 (Reuters) - Property and casualty insurer Lancashire Holdings Ltd announced a special payout of about $150 million as "disciplined underwriting and prudent risk selection" helped it report a 30 percent jump in quarterly pretax profit despite challenging market conditions.
Lancashire said the level of insured damage from Hurricane Matthew in the United States was less than it might have been in other circumstances as the most powerful Atlantic storm since 2007 had a larger impact in Haiti than in the United States.
Hurricane Matthew would contribute to the further erosion of margins and profitability across the sector, said Lancashire, which like other speciality insurers and reinsurers has faced a challenging pricing environment, partly due to lower losses from natural catastrophes.
Lancashire, which writes policies for heavy-duty assets such as oil rigs, ships and aircraft, said pretax profit rose to $42.9 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $32.9 million a year earlier.
However, gross premiums written fell 10.1 percent to $108.2 million, mainly due to challenging conditions in its energy and Lloyd's businesses.
Lancashire announced a special dividend of $0.75 per common share. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)