We are one of the world’s leading specialist insurers. Our success is due to a long-term strategy that strives to build:
- balance and diversity, generating opportunities throughout the cycle;
- a strong financial performance;
- underwriting discipline and a transparent approach to risk;
- market-leading expertise that is valued by our customers;
- teams of energetic, professional and well-respected people.
Our Group comprises three counterbalancing divisions that give us options throughout the market cycle. For more than 30 years, Hiscox’s strategy has been to balance our more volatile catastrophe-exposed big-ticket insurance and reinsurance with smaller-ticket retail insurance.
The diversity we have created within our overall business, both in product and geography, gives us great flexibility, particularly in a tough commercial environment. We are able to grow or shrink the catastrophe-exposed lines according to market conditions. Our local specialty insurance businesses, which tend to perform consistently across the insurance cycle, have grown by 9.1% year-on-year over the last five years.
Strong financial results
Hiscox has a strong record for top-line growth with a focus on shareholder value. Between 2010 and 2014 the Group:
- increased gross written premiums by 22.6% to £1.76 billion;
- posted a healthy combined ratio averaging 88.2%;
- delivered average return on equity of 14.3%;
- maintained a progressive dividend policy with compound growth of 8.1%;
- returned £422 million of extra capital to shareholders.
A transparent approach to risk
The very business of insurance is managing risk. Understanding risk is intrinsic to every level of decision making in the Group. We devote a great deal of expertise to understanding the impact of major global disasters on our business.
We have developed our own sophisticated risk model, which draws on our many years of experience as well as the leading industry forecasting tools. All of our underwriting decisions on catastrophe exposures are based on this bespoke model. Every six months, we update analysts and investors on what the Group’s potential exposure could be to major catastrophes, such as hurricanes or earthquakes.
Specialist expertise that is valued by our customers
We are market leaders in many of the risks we underwrite and our customers value the expertise and innovative cover we provide*.
- In France, 95% of small business customers are satisfied with our services.
- In the USA, 96% of small business customers surveyed would recommend us.
- In the UK, 99.54% of Hiscox Home Insurance customers who have made a claim would recommend us. Overall, we were awarded the ‘Gold Trusted Merchant’ status for achieving a 95% service rating by Feefo.
Hiscox UK was awarded Best Small Business Insurer by Start Your Business Magazine for the sixth year in a row. In the US, Hiscox was named a Top 100 Champion at the Small Business Influencer Awards. Fairer Finance awarded Hiscox UK Gold for home insurance, recognising our commitment to provide high-quality customer service. In IT, we were awarded Digital Insurance Project Team of the year at the Digital Insurance and Technology Awards, where Stéphane Flaquet was also named CIO of the year. Reactions Magazine awarded Hiscox Insurer of the Year. Stuart Bridges was presented with CFO of the year at the Insurance Insider Awards and Bronek Masojada was awarded Personality of the Year at the British Insurance Awards 2014. Our Hong Kong team for DirectAsia were awarded Silver for Inbound
Contact Centre of the year where the Head of Customer Care, Gratiano Yeung, also received the Gold award for Inbound Contact Centre Manager of the Year. In Singapore, Loh Kaiyun Joey won Best Contact Centre Trainer of the Year (for offices between 20 and 100 seats).
The excellence of our people has been a key ingredient in our success. Our reputation for innovation and dynamism is built on the energy, professionalism, commitment and expertise of our employees. In return we strive to provide them with a working environment in which they can flourish. In September 2014, Hiscox conducted its seventh global employee engagement survey. Open to all permanent members of staff, it looks at how connected employees feel to Hiscox, their managers, their teams and their role. Hiscox enjoys very high employee engagement, which averages in the top quartile of over 200 companies worldwide. Of our employees, 91% said they are proud to work for us, while 95% said they believed in our corporate values.