Hiscox says too early for Sandy estimates

Specialist insurance group Hiscox said it is too early to produce any meaningful estimate of claims from Sandy as it posted 6.4 per cent increase in gross written premiums for the nine months to September 30th.

Specialist insurance group Hiscox said it is too early to produce any meaningful estimate of claims from Sandy as it posted 6.4 per cent increase in gross written premiums for the nine months to September 30th.

"New York City and surrounding states are not yet fully functioning as people are struggling to get back to their homes and businesses. We have not received any material notifications of claims from our insurers at this stage," the group said in a company update.

The Bermuda-based firm said gross written premiums increased year on year to £1.24bn from £1.17bn before.

Chief Executive Bronek Masojada commented: "Until Superstorm Sandy hit last week it had been a relatively quiet year for Hiscox which puts us in a good position to absorb any losses. The devastation wreaked by Sandy reminds us all of the critical role insurers play in people's lives."

Its primary US property business experienced rate increases of up to 10% year on year. Reinsurance rates for US and international property catastrophe business rose by 5-10% during the year, it added.

Hiscox said the reinsurance teams in Bermuda and London have a very manageable exposure to crop losses caused by drought conditions in the US. Its reserves for the Costa Concordia remain unchanged at net US$20m.

Investment return for the period increased by 2.7% year to date while invested assets at the end of September totaled £3.03bn and asset allocation remains largely unchanged from the end of June.

CJ

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