Insurer's own standalone product failed to take off, chief executive says

Lloyd's managing agent Hiscox will stop writing its own travel insurance product as of 31 July.

Chief executive Bronek Masojada told Insurance Times the insurer had "experimented" with the standalone product, but it had failed to take off.

"I imagine some brokers will be upset, but it was a very small book of business - worth around £250,000.

I hope brokers can appreciate that we wanted to focus on more profitable business."

Hiscox will still offer travel insurance through its "open architecture" deal with Link Underwriting, the underwriting company sold by Lloyd's managing agency Kiln in January. Via an online service, Hiscox clients can buy travel insurance products underwritten by Link, which are sold under the Hiscox brand. Hiscox pays a fee per policy and Link offers the cover.

"I would like to stress that our existing high net worth customers will still receive travel insurance but it is underwritten by Link, and not the Hiscox standalone product," Masojada said.

Masojada said he would like to extend the open architecture approach, "whereby one business uses another specialist operation to deliver the business", to motor insurance.

Chairman Robert Hiscox said: "It's what the insurance industry ought to do more of. We're expert at high-value household insurance, not at travel insurance."

Both he and Masojada denied it was due to a capacity problem. Hiscox said the idea was popular in Europe but had yet to be explored further in the UK.

One Lloyd's underwriter told Insurance Times that more Lloyd's syndicates would be "doing similar style deals in the near future."

"Though it sounds more like some rinky-dink reinsurance agreement to me," he added.