Hiscox news - issue 11

Full year results for the year ended 31 December 2016

London, UK (27 February, 2017)

  2016 2015
Gross premiums written


Net premiums earned


Profit before tax


Earnings per share


Total ordinary dividend per share for year


Special dividend   16.0p
Net asset value per share


Group combined ratio 84.4% 85.0%
Return on equity 23.0% 16.0%
Investment return 1.9% 1.0%
Foreign exchange gains £152.4m £15.2m
Reserve releases





  • A record profit of £354.5 million, an increase of 64%, with gross written premium growth of 23.6% (14.1% in local currency).
  • Hiscox Retail now accounts for 49% of the Group’s GWP, 61% of NWP and 45% of profits (60% excluding foreign exchange gains). Hiscox UK and Europe doubled profits, and Hiscox USA remains the stand-out performer with premium growth of over 30%.
  • Hiscox London Market is navigating its way through a challenging trading environment, growing selectively and focusing on long-term opportunity.
  • Hiscox Re and ILS delivered an excellent result. It benefited from good underwriting and an increasing contribution from fees and profit commissions. Kiskadee Investment Managers’ Assets Under Management now $1.25 billion.
  • Final dividend of 19.0p, a step up in the full year ordinary dividend to 27.5p, which is an increase of 15%. Going forward we will maintain our progressive dividend policy. The Group continues to use retained profits to fund future growth opportunities.

Bronek Masojada, Chief Executive of Hiscox Ltd, commented:

“This is a good result, flattered by foreign exchange and boosted by a strong investment return. Our retail business has come of age, driving growth and profitability for the Group. This gives us options and, although there are uncertainties in both the insurance and political environments, we have the right people, footprint and financial power to adapt. We will remain focused and disciplined where margins are shrinking and invest where we see opportunities for long-term profitable growth.”

For further information

Hiscox Ltd

Jeremy Pinchin, Group Company Secretary, Bermuda
+1 441 278 8300

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


Tom Burns +44 (0)20 7404 5959

Simone Selzer +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. It’s a long-standing strategy which in 2016 helped generate gross premiums written of £2,402.6 million and a record profit before tax of £354.5 million.

The Hiscox Group employs over 2,300 people in 13 countries, and has customers worldwide. Through the retail businesses in the UK, Europe and the US, 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 and ILS.

Our values define our business, with a focus on people, quality, courage and excellence in execution. 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.

For the full regulatory statement

Khare joins Hiscox to head up catastrophe research

Based in London, Khare will lead the research that directly informs the development of Hiscox’s own view of risk and its underwriting strategies for catastrophe perils. In particular, while working across the Hiscox Group, he will work closely with Hiscox London Market and Hiscox Re (including Hiscox Re Insurance Linked Strategies).

Hiscox Global Insight asked Shree to tell us more about his role.

One of your responsibilities is to develop a ‘Hiscox view of risk’. What is that?

Hiscox makes use of a number of different vendor models, the output of which is often adjusted, based on our own research and actual loss experience. The adjusted vendor models are then blended in an optimal way to form the Hiscox view of risk, which is used across the business.

How is climate change affecting the reliability of existing climate natural catastrophe models?

It is probably worthwhile to separate climate change from climate variability. For the sake of argument, we might define climate change as happening on relatively long time-scales (10+ years), and climate variability on relatively short time-scales (<5 years), keeping in mind it is not a clear separation. From a business perspective, where we operate on relatively short time-scales, the effects of climate variability are in fact more material. For example, the earth’s climate has variability which is often summarised by indices such as El Nino and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Hurricane activity and formation is sensitive to which phase of these cycles we are in during a given season.

This variability makes building and interpreting climate catastrophe models more challenging. But if done properly, accounting for such climate variability is prudent for the business. Longer term climate change signals are hugely important from a societal and also business perspective, but are much harder to grapple with.

What’s the appeal of moving to a (re)insurer after working for a modelling agency for so long?

I’ve always been interested in the application of models in the market, and how it influences the use of capital. My new role at Hiscox gives me this chance to explore my interest, and feels like a natural evolution of my career. It’s a difficult, but exciting challenge.

Do you miss the academic nature of working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)?

To some degree yes, and I still try my best to keep one or two research projects related to catastrophe modelling on the go. Somehow though, I’m more geared towards working on the applied end of things. I’m always trying to get the best of both worlds I suppose!

What do you do in your spare time away from the office?

I like to enjoy time with friends and family, reading, playing golf and going hiking.