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Hiscox grows premium in ‘tough market’

Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer Hiscox has grown gross written premium (GWP) by 13.3% to £1.46 billion ($2.4 billion) for the six months to June 30.

Profit before tax dropped to £102.6 million ($168.73 million) from £206 million ($338.77 million) in the corresponding period last year, but excluding the impact of foreign exchange gives a 12.5% profit increase to £133.5 million ($219.54 million).

“We are managing the cycle and driving retail growth, as our long-held strategy of balancing the portfolio between volatile big-ticket business and steady retail business continues to deliver,” CEO Bronek Masojada said.

“Despite tough market conditions, we are finding opportunities.”

The combined operating ratio worsened to 91% from 80.7%.

Hiscox Retail is the greatest contributor to profit, with Hiscox USA “a standout performer”, generating 31% premium growth.

GWP from Hiscox London Market dropped 8.2%, as “difficult but necessary” decisions were made to reduce involvement or withdraw from some lines of business.

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