Monday, November 16, 2009

Hiscox Says Premiums Rise on International Units

hiscox insurance

Hiscox Ltd., the third-biggest insurer at Lloyd’s of London, said nine-month revenue rose 32 percent on higher international sales.

Gross written premiums were 1.2 billion pounds ($2 billion) for the year to Sept. 30, compared with 920 million pounds a year earlier, the Hamilton, Bermuda-based company said today in a statement.

“We have continued to benefit from solid investment decisions and have maintained growth in our most profitable underwriting lines,” Chairman Robert Hiscox said in the statement. “Rates are stable and still very healthy in most areas, particularly reinsurance, which accounts for over a third of our business.”

Hiscox, like fellow Lloyd’s insurers Catlin Group Ltd. and Brit Insurance Holdings Plc, has benefited from a benign Atlantic storm season this year and rising rates for catastrophe insurance. Catlin and Brit’s sales both climbed in the first nine months of the year, helped by higher rates for risks exposed to U.S. windstorms, which last year cost the industry $24 billion.

Revenue from the insurer’s U.S. unit, which opened five new offices in the first half of this year, grew 80 percent to 87.2 million pounds, boosted by a weaker pound against the dollar, Hiscox said. Sales in Bermuda advanced 53 percent to 163.7 million pounds.