The insurance market expects that the cost of the crisis will ultimately be "far in excess" of other disasters such as 9/11.
Lloyd's of London is set to pay out up to £3.5bn to customers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The insurance market said it was on a par with the impact of 9/11 but that it expects the eventual overall cost of COVID-19 to the industry to be "far in excess" of that and other catastrophes.
Lloyd's estimates that overall, when taking into account falling investment values as well as the cost of paying claims, the global insurance industry stands to lose £164bn this year.
Chief executive John Neal said: "The global insurance industry is paying out on a very wide range of policies to support businesses and people affected by COVID-19.
"The Lloyd's market alone is currently expected to pay claims amounting to some $4.3bn (£3.5bn), making it one of the market's largest pay-outs ever.
"What makes COVID-19 unique is the not just the devastating continuing human and social impact, but also the economic shock.