We are a leading specialist insurer with:
- balance that creates opportunity throughout the cycle;
- strong financial performance;
- a transparent approach to risk;
- specialist expertise that is valued by our customers.
A balanced portfolio that creates opportunity throughout a cyclical market
Hiscox’s strategy is to balance the more volatile catastrophe-exposed insurance and reinsurance with steady local specialty insurance. Our diversity by product and geography gives us great flexibility, particularly in a tough commercial environment. We are able to grow and shrink the catastrophe-exposed lines according to market conditions. Currently, rates for reinsurance, which makes up 28% of our income, are healthy. When these rates are no longer favourable, we have the flexibility to shrink this side of the business. Our local specialty insurance business tends to be steadier throughout the insurance cycle and we have successfully grown our retail lines by 7.5% year-on-year over the last five years.
Strong financial performance
Hiscox has a strong record of top-line growth with a focus on ROE. Performance highlights between 2008 and 2012 include:
- increased gross written premiums by 38.5% to over £1.5 billion
- healthy combined ratio averaging 87.3%
- delivered average ROE of 14.9%
- maintained a progressive dividend policy with compound growth of 9.0%.
A transparent approach to risk
The very business of insurance is managing risk. The understanding of risk is intrinsic to every level of decision-making in the Group. We devote a great deal of expertise to understanding the impact of global events and model these rigorously. We also draw on over 100 years of experience in insurance to assess these risks.
Catastrophes such as hurricanes and earthquakes could hit at any time, and naturally would have an impact on our business. Therefore twice a year, in our analysts’ presentations and on our website, we publish estimates of what the Group’s losses would be should such a catastrophe occur.
Specialist expertise that is valued by our customers
We are market leaders in many of our specialist areas and our customers value the expertise and cover we provide.
What our UK customers said:*
- 99% of home insurance customers were satisfied that we answered their questions and provided the information they needed today
- 94% of our home insurance customers surveyed were satisfied with the service they received.
In Europe, a survey** of our brokers saw Hiscox rated as a leading high net worth insurance brand.
In 2011, Hiscox UK was awarded Commercial and Personal Lines Team of the Year at the Claim Awards ceremony. On the commercial side, Hiscox UK won Best Small Business Insurance award for the third year running at the Start Your Business Awards 2011.