Hiscox unveils rise in gross written premiums

Business and home insurer Hiscox posted a 12.3 per cent rise in gross written premiums to 506.1m pounds in the first quarter driven by local errors and omissions and internationally traded property insurance and reinsurance.

Business and home insurer Hiscox posted a 12.3 per cent rise in gross written premiums to 506.1m pounds in the first quarter driven by local errors and omissions and internationally traded property insurance and reinsurance.

Its US division experienced the biggest growth in gross written premiums, which rose by 34.5% to $64.3m driven by an expanding sales force and improving market conditions. The group also achieved an increase in gross written premiums across all its other regions including the UK, Europe, Guernsey and Bermuda.

The company said rates in reinsurances remain healthy on the back of businesses hit by Superstorm Sandy and Japan earthquakes.

However, the group expects a decline in rates during June and July renewal due to a rise in competition from capital markets and a continued benign claims environment.

During the quarter the investment results was 0.9% on a non-annualised basis following a strong performance from risk assets accounts, which mae up 7.0% of the portfolio. Income from cash and the bond portfolios was in line with expectations reflecting the low yields available.

Invested assets totalled about £3.3bn at the end of March.

"Fortune has favoured the industry this quarter," said Chief Executive Bronek Masojada.

"For Hiscox, the absence of any catastrophes and growth in profitable lines has delivered a very good start to the year. We are in a good position to benefit from rate rises in the US casualty market and it is pleasing to see substantial growth here."

Shares rose 2.33% to 571p at 10:35 Tuesday.

RD

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