2009 capacity rises to £250m

Hardy Underwriting Bermuda has announced that the underwriting capacity of syndicate 382 for 2009 has been increased from £185m to £250m.

Hardy said an increase has been necessary in order to accommodate the expected additional business volume arising as a result of the strengthening of the other major currencies against sterling.

The £250m capacity level has been agreed with Lloyd's, and takes effect from 1st January 2009. In support of this capacity increase, Hardy has lodged further funds at Lloyd's through the utilisation of the Group's letter of credit facility. The utilised facility now amounts to £35m.

Barbara Merry, chief executive of Hardy, said: "The recent significant strengthening of the US dollar, Euro and Japanese Yen will have the effect of increasing the volume of business written when converted into sterling.

"Expected improvements in underwriting terms should also serve to increase potential volumes over the coming months and, if these improvements materialise, we will need to revisit our business plans for 2009 and beyond."