Lloyd’s insurer targeting specialist scheme business in regions

Hiscox is looking to continue a trend it started in 2011 in developing relationships with regional brokers for scheme business, says chief executive Bronek Masojada.

“I hope we will continue in 2012 in working a lot with smaller and mid-sized regional brokers around the schemes business,” Masojada told Insurance Times after Hiscox reported its 2011 results this morning. “Where the business is slightly more unusual or in our area of expertise, we can offer a very good solution to those brokers.”

Maojada said Hiscox was winning business in the regions through service rather than price or commission levels. “It is people saying: We are fed up with the service from some of the bigger competitors. We have seen your advertising, we like the brand - would you like to pitch on this particular scheme?’ That has grown very nicely.”

Hiscox is also strengthening ties in the UK with the big four brokers, Aon, Willis, Marsh and JLT. The company set up a special team in the first quarter of 2011 charged with extending UK relationships with this top tier. “We have across the group a huge business with the big  four brokers but in the UK we have very little business with them,” Masojada said.

The comments come as Hiscox’s UK retail business posted a 69% jump in profit to £49m in 2011, and a 12.3% increase in gross written premiums to £367.1m.

Hiscox also announced that its long-standing chairman Robert Hiscox would step down at in a year’s time. Masojada praised the outgoing chairman’s achievements. “This is obviously a seminal moment for us,” he said. “He has been a fantastic leader and chairman of the business. When he took over the business it had £2.3m of premium income, it now has £1.6bn. It had 12 staff and now it has over 1,200.”