Hiscox sees premiums grow despite rate pressure

Strong performance across all businesses sees company buck the industry trend

Insurance News

By Paul Lucas

It’s been a solid first nine months of the year for Lloyd’s of London underwriter Hiscox as it bucked the industry trend and enjoyed significant gross written premium growth in spite of the low rate environment.

The company, which underwrites everything from kidnappings to oil refineries, reported £1.86 billion (approximately $2.3 billion) in gross written premiums up to September 30 – a leap of 14% compared to £1.54 billion in the same period last year.

Furthermore, the company reaped rewards from the fall in the pound on the back of the Brexit vote as it carries out the bulk of its business overseas. Gross written premiums in reported currency were up 20.9%.

It also offered good news in relation to Hurricane Matthew, suggesting that losses from the event would be well within its planned catastrophe loss budget having set aside around $35 million to cover the event.

Conditions in the London market were said to be difficult, however, with the company pointing to “intense” rating pressure across marine, energy and aviation, along with the large US property classes.  Despite this it’s London market business increased its gross written premiums by 9.3% to stand at £520.5 million – thanks to growth in general liability, marine and cargo.

Going forward, Hiscox predicts that market conditions will remain difficult with its CEO Bronek Masojada telling Reuters that “we expect there will be some risks which we won’t renew, and then the business will shrink.”
The company is also “hopeful” for an end to rate reductions, particularly in light of poor investment returns and catastrophes.

Image credit: Wikipedia

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