Monday 2 November 2020 7:51 am

Hiscox sets aside $75m for catastrophe claims as gross premiums grow

Insurance firm Hiscox said that it had set aside $75m (£58.1m) for natural disasters claims in the third quarter as gross written premiums grew in the first nine months of the year.

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In a trading statement this morning, the FTSE 250 firm revealed the decision to set aside the money after another autumn of dramatic wildfires in the US.

“While the severity of individual catastrophe events has not reached the levels of the preceding three years, the third quarter has seen a high frequency of natural catastrophes, with the most active North American wind season on record and another significant wildfire season in California”, it said.

It also said that premiums had grown two per cent so far this year to $3.26bn.

Growth was quickest in the third quarter, when premiums grew at a rate of 15 per cent at constant currency.

The London-listed company reported growth across all of its retail business units, which it said was helped by the switch to digital.

Hiscox boss Bronek Masojada said: “We are benefiting from the inexorable shift towards digital in our Retail businesses thanks to our on-going investment in technology, as well as the strongest pricing we have seen in the London Market and in reinsurance for more than five years.

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“We have the financial strength, operational resilience and underwriting expertise to take advantage of these favourable market trends.”