’I am pleased with the progress we have made this year in maximising the strength of our portfolio of businesses,’ says chief executive

Hiscox has revealed that its UK business saw growth in the six months to June despite its premiums dropping when converted to US dollars.

In its H1 2023 results, which were published today (9 August 2023), the insurer said it secured an insurance contract written premium (ICWP) of $399.3m (£312m) in the UK, down from $406.4m (£319.4m) in the same reporting period last year.

However, removing the effect of exchange rates meant Hiscox UK grew by 4% on a constant currency basis in H1 2023.

The insurer said the UK business delivered ”solid growth” in commercial lines, with commercial property, general liability and emerging professions showing “sustained momentum”.

It added that its art and private client book also saw growth momentum in the first half of 2023.

While Hiscox felt that its UK core portfolio continued to “grow well”, it said its course correction to reduce exposure to some non-core delegated authority partnerships had a 2.6% impact in H1 2023.

”We expect the impact of this course correction to continue to moderate into the fourth quarter,” the insurer added.

London market

Meanwhile, Hiscox London Market grew its ICWP by 10.6% from $591.8m (£462.3m) to $654.4m (£511.3m) year-on-year.

The rise in ICWP, according to Hiscox, was driven by a combination of strong rate in property, as well as new business growth in upstream energy and renewables – partially offset by softening rates in casualty lines.

Hiscox London Market’s combined ratio (COR), meanwhile, also improved from 85.6% in H1 2022 to 79.6% in H1 2023.

Profit before tax also increased from $17.8m (£13.9m) to $106.9m (£83.5m) year-on-year.

“Our London Market business has returned to growth, as we believe the property book is priced adequately following significant re-rating and we are benefitting from attractive new growth opportunities in upstream energy, marine and renewables,” said Aki Hussain, Hiscox’s group chief executive.


Meanwhile, Hiscox Retail, which brings together the results of the group’s retail business divisions in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia, saw its ICWP rise on a constant currency basis to $1.27bn (£993m), representing a 5.5% increase compared to $1.24bn (£967m) last year.

Its COR also improved from 92.6% to 89.2%.

While Hiscox Retail saw growth, it was tempered by the business maintaining discipline in the face of increased competition and reducing prices in the cyber product line.

However, Hiscox said its retail business ”continues to deliver in line with expectations”.

“The strength and diversity in our retail business means that the underlying growth in retail is 7.3% in constant currency,” Hussain added.

Speaking about the overall group results, he added: ”I am pleased with the progress we have made this year in maximising the strength of our portfolio of businesses. 

”Our diverse business portfolio enables Hiscox to operate in a number of different parts of the specialist insurance sector, allocating capital with agility to areas of expertise which offer the highest risk-adjusted returns.”

  • Insurance Times has converted dollar amounts into pounds using an exchange rate of $1.28 = £1, which was correct as of 1 August 2023.