LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Hurricanes, wildfires and other natural and man-made catastrophes combined to make 2017 the costliest year on record for Britain's speciality insurance market, a study from consultants EY on Friday showed.
A total of 4.5 billion pounds ($6 billion) was paid out in major claims during the year, up 9.4 percent on the prior year and resulting in syndicates collectively swinging to a 2 billion pounds loss from a 2.1 billion profit a year earlier.
Among major events to hit the market were hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as wildfires in California, EY said, driving return on capital down to minus 7.3 percent from 2016's 8.1 percent.
Andy Worth, UK Head of Specialty Insurance at EY, said global losses as a result of catastrophes were more than $130 billion.
June 1 marks the start of the new hurricane season and comes as sub-tropical storm Alberto, the first named storm of 2018, weakened as it made landfall. Ratings agency Fitch said it expects the season to be average.
$1 = 0.7530 pounds Reporting by Simon Jessop; editing by David Evans