Hiscox CEO says insurer is committed to Ukrainian grain coverage consortium

Hiscox’s CEO Aki Hussain has said that the insurer is committed to a planned insurance consortium that will provide cover for ships travelling through a safe passage from Ukraine,

Speaking on Wednesday after as the insurer’s shares declined on a first-half loss, Hussain said that the consortium had not yet been finalized.

The Lloyd’s Market Association said in July that a consortium could be formed to provide cover for grain shipments.

“We have committed our support to the Lloyd’s market-led initiative. We are very supportive of it,” said Hussain.

Last Friday July 29th Lloyd’s insurer Ascot and broker Marsh announced a separate facility to provide up to $50m in cover for grain shipments from Ukraine.

Hiscox had insured some ships which were stuck in Ukrainian ports but had received no claims so far, Hussain said.

Hiscox said its losses from Ukraine and Russia were $48m net of reinsurance, a slight increase from the $40m estimate put out in May.

Hiscox reported a pretax loss of $107m in the first half due to a steep decline in the value of its investment portfolio. The insurer had posted a profit of $133m during the same period last year. The underwriting result for the period improved to $123.1m, from $99.8m in H1 2021, with the CR improving to 91.3%, from 93.1%. Positive prior year development was $76.9m, down from $79.0m in H1 2021.

The interim dividend was increased by half a cent.

Hiscox recorded an investment loss of $214m, compared with a profit of $62m a year earlier, it said in a trading statement.

The insurer said that “growth continues in attractive business classes, such as casualty, marine, energy and flood”.