Insurer to open five new US offices by end of 2009

Hiscox is closing its Bermuda-based specialist reinsurance and insurance operation after less than a year and will instead expand its US business, the insurer said. But the company will maintain its presence in Bermuda through its treaty reinsurance business.

In a statement, Hiscox said it was refocusing its reinsurance portfolio to take full advantage of market opportunities.

In the US, the group's Terrorism, Media and Technology, small ticket D&O and Equine teams are being strengthened with 10 key appointments.

Hiscox will also set up new lines in Property, Construction and Inland Marine insurance. The Group will also enhance the service it currently provides to the Latin American Kidnap and Ransom market with a new team based in Miami.

In addition to Hiscox's existing offices in Armonk, Manhattan, Chicago, Geneva (Illinois), San Francisco, the group plans to establish offices in Lexington, Boston, Kansas City (Missouri), Miami and Los Angeles by the end of 2009.

In a statement, Hiscox said: "In view of the above expansion, the board has looked at the most efficient allocation of capital and decided to close the Bermuda based specialist reinsurance and insurance team established earlier this year. This will not have any material impact on Hiscox International's 2009 business plan. Hiscox's treaty reinsurance business in Bermuda will continue under the leadership of Rob Childs."

Bronek Masojada, chief executive, said: "The tide is continuing to turn in our favour. In the last few weeks we have been presented with a number of excellent opportunities to enhance our local expertise and we are taking full advantage of them."

The Group also announced a rating upgrade by Standard & Poor's to A from A-.