Marine exposures to Ukraine war mainly modest, says Hiscox

The marine liabilities of Bermuda-domiciled international specialist insurer Hiscox Ltd are not thought to be significant, the company said in its Q1 trading update.

While the losses from the conflict in Ukraine incurred in the first quarter were minimal, the Group has reserved about $40m (mostly IBNR) net of reinsurance to cover claims from the conflict in Ukraine, mainly in Hiscox London Market, with much smaller net claims expected in Re & ILS. “We have taken into account the property and marine exposures in Ukraine, which represent the main loss areas for the Group, and due to the extensive reinsurance in place, we believe our net estimate to be robust”, the insurer said.

The majority of the estimated net loss is expected to come from the political violence, war and terror (PVWT) book. The remaining exposure was mainly in the marine portfolios. Hiscox said that it had “a modest share of the marine hull market in Hiscox London Market and in Hiscox Re & ILS”, where it writes whole account coverage. “While we are aware of a small number of vessels trapped within the conflict zone, our average line size is small and net exposure modest”, the company said.

Hiscox London Market achieved an average rate increase of 8%. Classes impacted by losses in prior years, such as cyber and marine liability, saw significant rate hardening, while historically profitable classes, such as K&R, terrorism and D&O saw low or negative rate increases, the company said.

For the group as a whole, GWP was up 10.3% year on year to $1.386bn, as strong growth in Re & ILS and a good performance in Retail digital partnerships and direct (DPD) offset a planned slow-down in Hiscox USA.

There was no change to previously-disclosed estimates for claims related to Covid-19.