Q1 2024 trading statement

Hamilton, Bermuda (2 May 2024) – Hiscox Ltd (LSE:HSX), the international specialist insurer, today issues its trading statement for the first three months of the year to 31 March 2024.


  • Group ICWP of $1,537.5 million (Q1 2023: $1,420.2 million) grew 8.3% due to continued capital deployment in Re & ILS and the acceleration of Retail growth since full year 2023.
  • Hiscox Retail ICWP grew by 5.8% in constant currency as US DPD growth accelerated to 11.3%, UK growth stepped up to 8.3% in constant currency and Europe continued to perform strongly; this was partially offset by continued headwinds within the US broker business.
  • Hiscox Re & ILS deployed additional capital and new quota share capacity, with ICWP growing by 19.0% and net ICWP growing by 9.7%.
  • Hiscox London Market ICWP contracted temporarily, following the non-renewal of certain large binder deals to instead write more open market business and also due to the impact of one-off accounting reclassification items. The first quarter contraction is expected to be offset by growth over the course of the year.
  • Large natural catastrophe losses were within expectations for the first quarter.
  • Investment income result of $66.9 million (Q1 2023: $98.1 million), as duration was extended to 1.8 years to position the portfolio in anticipation of falling interest rates.
  • Share buyback on track, with 4.7 million shares repurchased for approximately $71.4 million.

Aki Hussain, Chief Executive Officer, Hiscox Ltd, commented:

“A good start to 2024, with our focus on profitable growth continuing to deliver. Retail momentum has improved with growth accelerating in Hiscox UK and US DPD as our initiatives achieve targeted outcomes, and solid sustained growth in Hiscox Europe. In Hiscox London Market and Hiscox Re & ILS we continue to deploy capital where we see attractive opportunities. The outlook for the year remains positive.”

Hiscox Group
Hiscox continues to make solid progress across the portfolio of businesses. In Retail we are beginning to realise the benefits of initiatives implemented over the last couple of years, focused on improving service to brokers, reinvigorating our brand as well as launching new products to service our customers’ needs. These have resulted in broad based growth across our retail franchise, although we continue to face challenges in reversing the negative trends in our US broker business. These challenges are not new and we are confident they will be overcome as the year progresses and our initiatives bear fruit – with profitable growth remaining the key priority.

In our big-ticket businesses we continue to maintain a thoughtful and disciplined approach, growing the business where we have expertise and see opportunity and moderating our position where this is not the case. This is reflected in the fact that our flagship Lloyd’s Syndicate, Hiscox 33, has been ranked in the top two best performing large syndicates in each of the last three years1. Overall, the market remains in equilibrium, where we are collecting sufficient premium for the risks we are taking, and this seems likely to continue for the rest of the year.

The external environment remains unpredictable with an elevated level of risk given geo-political events and macro-economic uncertainties. In this environment our diverse and complementary portfolio of businesses positions us well to serve our customers and effectively manage uncertainty.

Insurance contract written premiums for the period:

 Insurance contract written premiums to 31 March 2024Insurance contract written premiums to 31 March 2023 2Growth in USDGrowth in constant currency
Hiscox Retail$723.2$669.08.1%5.8%
Hiscox London Market$316.9$333.1(4.9%)(5.1%)
Hiscox Re & ILS$497.4$418.119.0%17.5%


Hiscox Retail
Hiscox Retail ICWP grew by 5.8% in constant currency to $723.2 million (Q1 2023: $669.0 million)2, or 8.1% in US Dollars. In line with the outlook provided with our full year results, Hiscox Retail growth has returned to its medium-term growth target range, driven by a step up in growth in the UK business, as well as robust growth in US DPD and Europe. These positive drivers have been partly offset by continued subdued momentum in our US broker business.

Hiscox Retail benefited from an average rate increase of 3%.

The Group previously announced its agreement to sell DirectAsia to Ignite Thailand Holdings Limited. The transaction remains subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

Insurance contract written premiums for the period:

 Insurance contract written premiums 
to 31 March 2024
Insurance contract written premiums 
to 31 March 2023 2
Growth in USDGrowth in constant currency
Hiscox Retail      
- Hiscox UK£159.3$202.2£147.2$178.513.3%8.3%
- Hiscox Europe€241.2$263.3€226.5$242.48.6%6.6%
- Hiscox USA $242.1 $235.03.1%3.1%
- Hiscox Asia $15.6 $13.218.2%18.2%
Hiscox Retail Total $723.2 $669.08.1%5.8%


Hiscox UK
Hiscox UK has delivered growth of 8.3%, on a constant currency basis, taking ICWP to $202.2 million (Q1 2023: $178.5 million). This step up in growth (FY 2023: 2.4%) is driven by improving performance across all areas of the UK business, including the activation of distribution deals signed in 2023 and ongoing investment in marketing.

For the first time in a number of years all parts of the UK business are in growth mode, including broker and direct distribution channels across commercial and personal lines.

We continue to develop our new broker e-trade offering, with a new high net-worth platform pilot having gone live in April and a wider roll-out planned thereafter.

The outlook for growth in our UK business is positive for the year, however, the comparative will be temporarily moderated in the second quarter due to some non-recurring premium recognised in June 2023.

Hiscox Europe
Hiscox Europe grew by 6.6% on a constant currency basis, with ICWP of $263.3 million (Q1 2023: $242.4 million). This is in line with our expectations due to challenging first quarter comparatives. We expect the growth rate to build as the year progresses, with the momentum further helped as new products and partnerships come online over the course of 2024.

The roll-out of our new core technology across our European business remains on track. In Germany migration of our professional, specialty and commercial (PSC) business is nearing completion, with the art and private client (APC) roll-out to commence during the year. PSC deployment has been completed in France and is proceeding as planned in Benelux.

Hiscox USA
Hiscox USA delivered improved growth of 3.1% with ICWP of $242.1 million (Q1 2023: $235.0 million)2, as US DPD momentum accelerated further, partially offset by ongoing headwinds in US broker.

US DPD grew ICWP by 11.3% in the first quarter to $146.3 million (Q1 2023: $131.4 million), building on 9.2% growth in the second half of 2023. US Direct continues to deliver strong double-digit growth boosted by our investment in marketing and strong retention. During the quarter we completed the full digital launch of our workers’ compensation partnership, allowing customers to quote and buy a policy on our website, underwritten by a third-party partner. By adding a workers’ compensation offering to our already broad line of products we are taking another step towards meeting all the insurance needs of the average small business insurance buyer.

US partnerships is now also growing at a double-digit rate as the existing and new partners onboarded in 2023 are ramping up production.

US broker ICWP had another quarter of reduced premiums, continuing the 2023 trend. The business has been impacted by challenging market conditions in cyber and has taken longer than expected to pivot to growth after the book was decisively re-underwritten, which has improved margin. Although we are starting to see the results of our targeted growth campaign, with good momentum in architects and engineers and entertainment, we anticipate the US broker business will continue to shrink at mid-year.

Hiscox London Market
In the first quarter Hiscox London Market net ICWP decreased by 6.3% to $204.8 million (Q1 2023: $218.5 million)2, while ICWP decreased by 4.9% to $316.9 million (Q1 2023: $333.1 million)2. Top line deceleration is mostly timing due to our non-renewal of certain large binder deals to instead write more open market business, in line with our strategy to lead more of the business we write. ICWP growth was also impacted by one-off accounting reclassification items, adjusting for which Hiscox London Market gross premiums were broadly flat year-on-year. The first quarter contraction is expected to be offset by growth over the course of the year. 

Hiscox London Market achieved an average rate increase of 3% in the first quarter, ahead of our expectations, with cumulative rate increases of 76% since 2018.

Property net ICWP continued to grow at a double digit rate, with particularly strong growth in property binders and flood, as rates increased by 12% and 13% respectively. The transition to the green economy and national energy security concerns continue to present significant opportunities. We continue to enhance our capabilities in this sector and have taken the decision not to renew a large binder agreement in order to underwrite this business directly ourselves instead. While this decision will present a short-term impact on growth, we expect momentum to recover through the course of the year.

As expected, cyber and D&O continue to experience rate decreases, down 9% and 6% respectively, although rate reductions are now moderating. We continue to manage the cycle proactively in these lines of business to maintain the quality of the portfolio.

Our ESG sub-syndicate, launched a year ago, has had a positive start to 2024 with casualty risks now also written under its umbrella. This continues to be well received by brokers and we are excited about the opportunities ahead, proactively pursuing new business across multiple lines of business.

Our collaboration with Google Cloud continues in 2024. After the 2023 proof of concept successfully demonstrated that we could reduce the time taken to quote a terrorism risk from three days to three minutes, we are now implementing this into the live environment. In parallel, we are extending the core proof of concept capabilities to major property, a more complex class, where we are also aiming to reduce the time to quote. Over time, we aim to roll out AI capabilities to all relevant lines of business, which will free up time for our underwriters to focus on higher-value tasks.

Hiscox Re & ILS
Hiscox Re & ILS ICWP grew by 19.0% to $497.4 million (Q1 2023: $418.1 million) as the business continued to seize attractive market opportunities deploying additional capital and new quota share capacity. Net ICWP increased by 9.7% to $203.6 million (Q1 2023: $185.6 million).  

January renewals were orderly, as the market remained disciplined with a broad standardisation of terms and conditions and attachment points largely holding. Following the significant improvements in rate during 2023, rates increased marginally by 2% in the first quarter, bringing cumulative rate increases since 2018 to 94%.

Rates fell slightly in Japan renewals but remain adequate following the increases after the 2018 and 2019 typhoons. Looking forward to the mid-year renewals, the demand for US catastrophe risk is likely to increase driven by ongoing inflationary pressures. This is expected to be met by increased capacity in the market, moderating pressure on rates. Positive market conditions are anticipated to persist throughout 2024, and we will continue to deploy capital where we see attractive opportunities. Nonetheless, ICWP growth is expected to moderate as the year progresses due to the planned outflow from the ILS funds; by the end of 2024, net ICWP growth is likely to exceed moderated top line growth.

Due to the seasonal nature of the risks underwritten by Hiscox Re & ILS, the majority of premium is earned in the second half of the year.

Hiscox ILS assets under management were $1.7 billion as at 31 March 2024 (31 December 2023: $1.8 billion). These decreased to $1.5 billion on 1 April 2024 after a planned capital return of $180 million, which was partially offset by new capital through our side car and the ILS fund raising efforts. We also received additional quota share support ensuring the Group continues to benefit from capital-light fee income.

Claims experience in the first quarter of 2024 has been well within expectations for natural catastrophe losses.

On 26 March, the M.V. Dali container ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge as it left the Port of Baltimore in the USA, causing most of the bridge to collapse and a number of casualties. This is a complex claim given the likely challenges of wreck removal and clean up, the rebuilding of the bridge, potential business interruption claims, and the tragic loss of life. Hiscox has no direct exposure to the business interruption policy of the port or the property policy covering the bridge, although Hiscox London Market participates on the reinsurance for the International Group of P&I Clubs. No associated reserves were booked in the first quarter, as it remains an emerging event, however we expect the net loss to be moderate for the Group due to the reinsurance arrangements in place.

Economic inflation continues to trend down. Hiscox has a conservative reserving philosophy and maintains robust reserves with a high probability of favourable run-off. The front book has achieved exposure indexation and rate increases, mitigating inflationary pressures.

The investment income result for the first quarter of 2024 is $66.9 million (Q1 2023: $98.1 million), or a return of 0.8% year to date (Q1 2023: 1.3%) impacted by upwards pressure on bond yields as rate cut expectations moved out in the period. Assets under management at 31 March 2024 were $8.0 billion (FY 2023: $8.0 billion).

The overall duration of the bond portfolio increased to 1.8 years by the end of the quarter as the asset duration was brought more into line with that of the liabilities, and to position the portfolio to benefit from any reductions in rates later in the year. Although a marginal headwind to returns in the first quarter, it leaves the bond portfolio well positioned going forward. The yield to maturity rose slightly to 5.2% at the end of March, up from 5.1% at year end.

The cash returns on both the bond returns and the cash and cash equivalents allocation continue to rise, dampening the impact of the mark-to-market volatility.

Equity markets returns were positive in the quarter.

Overall, the Group maintains modest exposure to selected risk assets. We continue to look to incrementally improve long-term risk and capital adjusted outcomes through further diversification.

Capital management
The Group remains well capitalised on both a regulatory and rating agencies basis, with high levels of liquidity, and strong capital generation. Capital generation is weighted towards the second half of the year due to the earnings profile of catastrophe exposed business.

We have the flexibility to deploy capital into each of our business units where we see attractive growth opportunities, while maintaining balance sheet strength and financial flexibility in line with our strategy.

As at 30 April 2024, the Group has repurchased 4.7 million shares for total consideration of approximately $71.4 million as part of the $150 million share buyback programme announced on 5 March 2024.


1 Source: Lloyd’s Insights Hub, Syndicate accounts. “Large” defined as over £1 billion in premium. Performance based on combined ratio. 2023: 2nd, 2022: 1st, 2021: 2nd. 

2 K&R business written through Syndicate 33 has been transferred from Hiscox USA to Hiscox London Market. Q1 2023 financials have been restated to report on a consistent basis.



View PDF version here.

A conference call for investors and analysts will be held at 10:00 BST on Thursday, 2 May 2024.

Participant dial-in numbers:
United Kingdom (Local): +44 20 3936 2999
United States: +1 646 787 9455
All other locations: +44 20 3936 2999
Participant Access Code: 263576

Investors and analysts
Yana O’Sullivan, Director of Investor Relations, London +44 (0)20 3321 5598
Marc Wetherhill, Group Company Secretary, Bermuda +1 441 278 8300

Eleanor Orebi Gann, Group Director of Communications, London +44 (0)20 7081 4815
Simone Selzer, Brunswick +44 (0)20 7404 5959
Tom Burns, 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 USA, UK, Europe and Asia, we offer a range of specialist insurance products in commercial and personal lines. 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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