2020 Preliminary Results

For the year ended 31 December 2020

"A resilient performance in a challenging year"

  2020 2019 represented
Gross premiums written $4,033.1m $4,030.7m
Net premiums earned $2,752.2m $2,635.6m
(Loss)/profit before tax $(268.5)m $53.1m
(Loss)/earnings per share ($) (91.6)¢ 17.2¢
(Loss)/earnings per share (£) (71.5)p 13.5p
Total ordinary dividend per share for the year - 13.8¢*
Net asset value per share ($) 689.0¢ 768.2¢
Net asset value per share (£) 503.9p 580.1p
Group combined ratio 114.5% 106.8%**
Return on equity (annualised) (11.8)% 2.2%
Investment return (annualised) 2.8% 3.6%
Positive prior year development $32.0m $25.9m



  • Gross premiums written maintained at $4.0 billion in challenging conditions. Loss before tax of $268.5 million driven by the impact of Covid-19 (2019: profit of $53.1 million). Covid-19 reserves unchanged at $475 million.
  • Hiscox London Market delivers profits of $97.2 million (2019: $23.3 million) - an outstanding performance.
  • Hiscox Retail grows 3% to $2.3 billion (2019: $2.2 billion). Direct and partnerships business grows 15%, approaching $600 million GWP and serving over 800,000 customers.
  • Hiscox Re & ILS GWP down 14% to $743.4 million (2019: $866.5 million), driven by a disciplined approach to price inadequacy at the start of the year.
  • Strong investment return of $198 million (2019: $223 million).
  • Positive prior year reserve development of $32 million, and reserves 9.8% above actuarial estimate (2019: 9.4%).
  • Positive rate momentum in all segments with London Market leading the way, up 20%.
  • Portfolio refinement ongoing in 2021; $200 million reduction affecting Hiscox Retail.
  • $100 million of Special Risks business switching from Retail to become part of Hiscox London Market crisis management unit.
  • Hiscox USA to increase focus on more profitable smaller business leading to non-renewal of $100 million in premiums.
  • Portfolio changes over fixed costs together with prudent loss picks in uncertain economic environment expected to offset underlying Retail combined ratio progress in 2021.
  • 90% to 95% combined ratio target to be reached in 2023.
  • Strong capital position following £375 million capital raise with 190% Bermuda Solvency Capital Ratio (“BSCR”).
  • New ESG Exclusions Policy for underwriting and investments published, confirming structured exit from coal; Arctic energy exploration, beginning with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; oil sands; and controversial weapons.

Bronek Masojada, Chief Executive Officer, Hiscox Ltd, commented:

“Our long-held strategy of balancing big-ticket lines and retail earnings has provided resilience in 2020. In 2021, our priorities will switch from resilience to opportunity as we are well-placed to make the most of the best conditions in the London Market in many years and the structural shift to digital across all our lines. I would like to thank our employees for their incredible efforts and our shareholders for their support.”

*During 2020, the Board did not approve the 2019 final dividend of 29.6 cents per share and therefore the 2019 total ordinary dividend per share has been represented to 13.8 cents per share (from 43.4 cents per share). Please see note 15 for further details.

** In 2020 the Group further refined how it manages and evaluates the performance of the business units. All foreign exchange gains and losses are now managed centrally. This has resulted in the representation of the Group combined ratio for 2019 to 106.8% (from 105.7%). Please see note 6 for further details.

View the full announcement

A conference call for investors and analysts will be held at 09:00 GMT on Wednesday, 3rd March 2021.

Participant dial-in numbers:

United Kingdom (Local): 020 3936 2999
All other locations: +44 20 3936 2999
Participant Access Code: 799826

Inside information

This announcement contains inside information.

The person responsible for arranging and authorising the release of this announcement on behalf of the Company is Marc Wetherhill, Group Company Secretary and General Counsel.

For further information

Investors and analysts

Yana O’Sullivan, Group Head of Investor Relations, London +44 (0)20 3321 5598

Marc Wetherhill, Group Company Secretary, Bermuda +1 441 278 8300


Kylie O’Connor, Director of Communications, London +44 (0)20 7448 6656

Tom Burns, Brunswick +44 (0)20 7404 5959

Simone Selzer, Brunswick +44 (0)20 7404 5959

Notes to editors

About The Hiscox Group

Hiscox is a global specialist insurer, headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). Our ambition is to be a respected specialist insurer with a diverse portfolio by product and geography. We believe that building balance between catastrophe-exposed business and less volatile local specialty business gives us opportunities for profitable growth throughout the insurance cycle.

The Hiscox Group employs over 3,000 people in 14 countries, and has customers worldwide. Through the retail businesses in the UK, Europe, Asia and the USA, we offer a range of specialist insurance for professionals and business customers as well as homeowners. Internationally traded, bigger ticket business and reinsurance is underwritten through Hiscox London Market and Hiscox Re & ILS.

Our values define our business, with a focus on people, courage, ownership and integrity. We pride ourselves on being true to our word and our award-winning claims service is testament to that. For more information, visit www.hiscoxgroup.com.


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