Hiscox Limited has released results for the group to 31 December 2021. It has not yet released results and updated estimates for the underwriting years of syndicates 33 and 6104, although we do expect these will follow in the next 48 hours.

The group has recorded its best underwriting result for five years despite experiencing elevated natural catastrophe losses.

 

12m to

31 December 2021

12m to

31 December 2020

Change

Gross written premium

$4,269.2m

$4,033.1m

+5.9%

Net earned premium

$2,955.0m

$2,750.4m

+7.4%

Profit/(loss) before tax

$190.8m

($268.5m)

Not meaningful

Combined operating ratio

93.2%

114.5%

21.3 points better

Hiscox comprises three main operating areas, retail business, London market insurance and Hiscox reinsurance. Although parts of all three areas are written into Syndicate 33, the London market business is key to this syndicate. The London market business saw gross premiums increase by 5%, against a backdrop of increasing underlying rates but continuing remediation and re-underwriting which allowed the group to reduce reinsurance spend and retain more of the risk. At 89.1%, the combined ratio for Hiscox London market is ever so slightly better than the impressive 2020 performance of 89.2%. The combined ratio for syndicate 33 in 2021 was better still, at 82.5%, the best result it has achieved since 2016.

Reserves continue to be resilient; the group declared almost $150m of positive reserve development in the year, with each underwriting year and each operating division contributing to the surplus. The group has a target of maintaining reserves at a margin of 10% in excess of actuarial best estimate, although it is currently exceeding this, with a margin of 11.7% at the end of 2021. Hiscox has also secured the reserve position with a number of loss portfolio transfers, including one for ceased classes within the London market portfolio.

The reinsurance portfolio, part of which is reinsured into SPA 6104, was also profitable in the year, recording a combined ratio of 66% despite the active catastrophe year which included European storms and floods, a winter freeze in Texas and hurricane Ida. A large part of this result stems from the cautious reserving of catastrophe losses in earlier years, with the claims’ estimates now being reduced.

The full trading statement can be found here and the analysts’ presentation pack here.