Lloyd’s underwriter’s $138.9m pre-tax loss amidst COVID-19 claims

Hiscox has reserved $232m net for claims arising from COVID-19 in the first half of 2020 and delivered a pre-tax loss of $138.9m for the period according to a recent announcement.

The $232m allocated amount for COVID-19 claims includes $150m for claims from event cancellation and abandonment, media and entertainment and other segments including travel which was set aside earlier in the first quarter of the year.

The additional $82m in claims allocation includes amounts set aside for Hiscox London Market, Hiscox UK and Hiscox Europe property business as well as UK and Europe travel bonds; and third-party claims in US allied health.

The Lloyd’s underwriter noted that it is too early to fully estimate any impact for Hiscox Re although it is materially underweight in European exposure.

“The magnitude of what many in the industry suggest may be the largest insured loss in history is gradually becoming apparent, and as a result we expect a continued contraction of risk appetites along the entire (re)insurance chain,” said Hiscox chairman Robert Childs.

Meanwhile, the global specialist insurer saw its gross premiums written reduced by 4% in constant currency to $2.2bn in the first six months of 2020.

Despite such challenging conditions, Hiscox Retail is said to have delivered a strong underlying performance with the segment contributing more than $100m in profits excluding net claims relating to COVID-19.

Following an expected decline in new business written in April and May, as economies were placed on pause by governments around the world, trading for Hiscox improved in June with non-COVID-19 claims in line with expectations.

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