Few disasters as Hiscox appoints new chairman

INSURER Hiscox returned to profit in the first half of this year, assisted by the absence of major disasters, the firm announced yesterday.

The Bermuda-based firm made a pre-tax profit of £125.8m against a loss of £85.6m for the same period last year.

“The lack of catastrophes has helped but but there has been a bit of risk selection as well,” outgoing chairman Robert Hiscox told City A.M.. “It just shows the joy of having a spread of business.”

Yesterday it was announced that Robert Childs, currently the firm’s chief underwriting officer, will replace Hiscox as chairman of the business that bears his name.

“He’s a man who’s done it all and it’s hard to pull the wool over the eyes of a man who’s done it all,” Hiscox said of his successor.

He added that the company – which mixes underwriting on the Lloyd’s of London market with upmarket retail cover – was pleased with the performance of its niche businesses such as terrorism insurance.

“You sail to the sound of gunfire and it’s just the sort of maverick underwriting we love. Sadly there’s lots of terrorism in the world and we want to expand – we are there to protect the poor citizens of the world.”