Lloyd’s insurer achieves 8.5% average rate increase

Lloyd’s insurer Hardy’s gross written premium fell 12.5% to £122.7m in the first quarter of 2012, from £156.2m in the same period last year.

Hardy said the drop was mainly the result of the decision to discontinue certain underperforming lines of business and a reduction in catastrophe risk appetite.

Hardy has suffered heavy catastrophes over the past two years, which have culminated in the company being sold to US insurance group CNA.

The Lloyd’s insurer achieved an average rate increase of 8.4% across its book. This was mainly driven by a 19.1% rise in property treaty reinsurance prices following last year’s heavy catastrophe loss activity.

The rest of Hardy’s book was a mixed bag, with non-marine property rates increasing, but marine and aviation and specialty lines falling (see table below).

However, Hardy said returns continued to be attractive despite the mixed picture.

Hardy made an investment return of 0.53% of invested assets in the first quarter of 2012. The company said it has no holdings in equities or other risk assets and no direct exposure to sovereign debt issued by Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece or Spain.

Hardy Q1 2012 renewal rate changes

  • Marine and aviation: -0.1%
  • Non-marine property: +6.5%
  • Specialty lines: -0.9%
  • Property treaty: +19.1%
  • Average: +8.4%