FEWER storms, floods and hurricanes helped boost business at Hiscox in the first nine months of the year, the specialist insurer said yesterday.
The Bermuda-based, London-listed firm said its gross written premiums jumped 12.9 per cent to £1.5 billion in a period that saw reduced natural disasters around the world.Hiscox, whose business ranges from international commercial underwriting to home insurance, also saw a strong performance from its US market and its Lloyds of London business.
It said gross written premiums leapt nearly 17 per cent to £453.4 million at Lloyds of London, helped by “healthy” rates in casualty, small property and specialty car insurance.
However, it added that premium rates in upstream energy and US large property continue to decline. Its retail insurance arm, which insures more than 60,000 UK households, saw gross written premiums lift 3.9 per cent to £336.5m, driven by commercial and high net worth household business across all regions.
The group said it will continue to look for bolt-on acquisitions in this area. Last year it bought festival and meetings insurance firm Event Assured, while in August it acquired classic car insurer RH Classics.
However, the group said premiums at its UK and US retail businesses remained broadly flat, while in Europe it was seeing single-digit increases across its personal and commercial lines.
Hiscox chief executive Bronek Masojada said: “A long-term investment in the brand has helped us attract new business and talent.”
Shore Capital analyst Eamonn Flanagan said the trading update highlighted “the virtues of Hiscox’s diversification strategy over the past years. The group remains one of the quality plays in the sector”.