H1 pre-tax profit rises at Hiscox

Insurer and reinsurer Hiscox has reported a pre-tax profit of $168m, up from $162.7m in the same period last year, driven by an annualized investment return of 4.8% (H1 2018, 0.7%).

Gross premiums written were up 7% in constant currency, with all business segments growing. Reserve releases declined to $26m, from $154m in H1 2018.

Hiscox Ltd CEO Bronek Masojada said that the increased profit came in spite of “a more challenging claims experience”.

He said that, looking ahead, with six consecutive quarters of rate growth in some Lloyd’s business, the market was in a better position than it had been for some time.

In Hiscox London Market the insurer reported “good rate momentum”, with rates up approximately 5% across the portfolio, helped by the Lloyd’s Decile 10 directive and the cumulative impact of two consecutive years of large market losses. It said that it had seen the most pronounced increases in US public company D&O, cargo, marine hull, major property and household.

Rate improvements driven by the Lloyd’s Decile 10 directive had led to good growth in many of core lines, including D&O, cargo, marine hull, major property and household.

  H1 2019 H1 2018
Gross premiums written $2,337.5m $2,228.8m
Net premiums earned $1,313.8m $1,277.9m
Profit before tax $168.0m $162.7m
Group combined ratio 98.8% 87.9%
Reserve releases $26m $154m