Catastrophe claims pull down Hiscox

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Catastrophe claims pull down Hiscox
Master Investor Magazine

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The price of shares in insurer Hiscox (LON:HSX) has dropped by 1.90% to 1,447p (as of 11:00 GMT) after it published a trading statement for the nine months to 30th September. Gross written premiums for the period were up by 7.3% over the year to date, but there was an active claims environment in the third quarter and it is unclear what the total liabilities linked to recent catastrophes will be.

CEO Bronek Masojada commented: “The third quarter has been an active period for claims, with the market experiencing significant catastrophe losses from storms in the US, the Caribbean and Japan. Paying claims is what we are here for, and we have reserved $165 million for claims from Hurricane Dorian and Typhoons Faxai and Hagibis. We expect an additional impact from lower fees and profit commissions.

“It is pleasing to see good growth across all of our segments, with Hiscox London Market leading the way as conditions continue to improve. In Hiscox Retail, growth is accelerating following the decisive action we have taken in the US and UK, and Europe is delivering strong double-digit growth. We are on track to meet our full year growth guidance for the retail segment.

“Pricing momentum in the London market and reinsurance continues to be positive. In Hiscox Retail, rates in the UK and Europe remain broadly flat across the portfolio. In the US, there are early signs that the market is responding to adverse claims trends in casualty business, where we are taking an increasingly cautious approach to reserving.

“Yet again the balance between our retail and big-ticket businesses has given Hiscox resilience in the face of challenging events. From these challenges comes opportunity“.

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