Insurer Hiscox’s growth lifted by fewer disasters in first months of 2015

Premiums for the three months ending 31 March rose to £561.7m from £501.6m at the same time last year
International specialist insurer Hiscox has reported a 12 per cent quarterly increase in gross written premiums (GWP), boosted by currency movements and fewer disasters.

The London-listed company said premiums for the three months ending 31 March rose to £561.7m from £501.6m at the same time last year.

Chief executive Bronek Masojada said: “It’s been an excellent start to the year, flattered by a good claims experience and favourable foreign exchange movements.

“While the market has been tough, with a reduction in pricing in the big ticket businesses, we have continued to grow in our speciality lines and expand our ILS [insurance-linked securities] business.”

In terms of Hiscox Retail, the UK arm performed well, with Hiscox UK increasing gross written premiums by 5.4 per cent to £103.5m, up from £98.2m last year.

Hiscox UK reported particularly strong growth in areas such as small office products, core household, luxury motor and small business cyber and data risk.

Hiscox London Market premium income grew by 11.4 per cent to £148.7m from £126.9m last year. It said that growth in speciality, marine and casualty insurance more than offset a reduction in big ticket property business, where it is facing fierce competition.

The Bermuda-based firm said the first quarter had been quiet in terms of claims. The exception was the area of political risks, where events such as civil unrest in eastern Ukraine, and falling oil prices which hit its clients.

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