Hiscox

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Hiscox Limited
LSEHSX
IndustryInsurance
Founded1901
HeadquartersHamilton, Bermuda
Key people
Robert Hiscox (Honorary President), Robert Childs (chairman), Bronek Masojada (CEO)
ProductsSpecialty property, casualty, kidnap and ransom, marine, aerospace, hacker, product recall and political risk insurance
RevenueIncrease £2,999.9 million (2020)[1]
Decrease £(224.2) million (2020)[1]
Decrease £(293.7) million (2020)[1]
Websitehiscoxgroup.com
Hiscox is an underwriter at the Lloyd's of London insurance market.

Hiscox Ltd. (LSEHSX) is an Anglo-Bermudan insurance provider, listed on the London Stock Exchange. An underwriter at Lloyd's of London, the company largely specialises in niche areas of the market, offering property and casualty insurance aimed at companies and high-net-worth individuals, as well as cover against such risks as hacking, kidnapping and satellite damage. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

History[edit]

The roots of the company lie with the Roberts agency, which commenced underwriting marine insurance at the Lloyd's market in 1901.[2] In 1946 Ralph Hiscox, who had joined the agency as an underwriter of non-marine insurance eight years earlier, formed the Roberts & Hiscox partnership for the purposes of managing syndicates at Lloyd's.[2] Hiscox was elected chairman of Lloyd's in 1967,[3] the same year his son Robert joined the group's Syndicate 33 as an underwriter of fine art and personal accident insurance.[2] Robert Hiscox subsequently took over as head of the partnership in 1970 after the death of his father, and set about growing the size of the business.[4]

In 1987 the firm reorganised – a holding company, Hiscox Holdings Ltd, was established for the group, which comprised the subsidiaries Hiscox Syndicates (for managing syndicates) and Roberts & Hiscox (for introducing and advising members of the Lloyd's market).[2] Expansion beyond the London market followed in 1989 with the formation of a third subsidiary, Hiscox Underwriting, specifically for this purpose.[2] Roberts & Hiscox and related interests were demerged in 1994, leaving the company as merely an underwriter and manager of syndicates.[2] Having previously listed on the Alternative Investment Market, Hiscox plc transferred to the main market of the London Stock Exchange in July 1997.[5] Following the purchase of a 28% stake in the company by Chubb Corporation in 1998,[6] the company fought to remain independent, successfully rebuffing two takeover offers by 2001.[7] Chubb subsequently sold off its interest in Hiscox in 2004.[8]

In 2005, the company opened a Bermuda office, writing a mix of worldwide reinsurance and retail business. The following year Hiscox plc moved its country of domicile from the United Kingdom to Bermuda, adopting the new name Hiscox Ltd.[9] For 2009, the company increased its marketing budget from £400,000 to £10 million and launched a mass media campaign with the strap line "as good as our word".[10]

Hiscox offices in York.

In March 2014 Hiscox acquired direct-to-consumer online operation DirectAsia[11] and in October 2014 Hiscox USA launched a new brand platform "Encourage Courage".[12]

In March 2020 Hiscox Chief Executive, Bronek Masojada, reported that the service to brokers in the UK Retail business was yet to improve beyond the level from before implementing the new IT platform in 2017: “Hiscox UK had a good year of recovery after a challenging 2018 as it adapted to a new IT system with new ways of working which impacted growth. Service levels have now improved and we appreciate the support of our brokers and customers while we worked hard to put things right.” [13]

In August 2021 though, Hiscox said of its ongoing service problems in the UK “Earlier this year we launched a cross-functional project involving distribution, underwriting and operations aimed at improving the existing operating model to drive a shift change in the quality of service we are delivering to our partners and customers.” [14]

In 2020, Hiscox forecast its Covid-19 claims would reach $387m net of reinsurance. In January 2021 it added a further $48 million to its estimate for COVID-19 losses. This followed the UK Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of Hiscox customers who had challenged the company’s decision to exclude coronavirus-related disruptions from its business interruption policies. One of the judges, Lord Briggs, said the cover “was in reality illusory”. He said it was “clearly contrary to the spirit and intent of the relevant provisions of the policies in issue”.[15][16][17]

In August 2020 Hiscox’s Ben Walter maintained that its reputation was unaffected by its handling of business interruption claims from UK small businesses,[18] but Chief Executive Bronek Masojada said in Hiscox’s 2020 preliminary results “Hiscox has undoubtedly suffered some brand damage this year.”[19]

Products[edit]

The company sells both personal and commercial insurance cover in a range of areas: for individuals, Hiscox provides home and contents insurance for "higher value" houses, as well as classic car, fine art, bloodstock, kidnap and ransom and personal accident cover.[20] For companies, cover types include property, marine, aerospace, professional indemnity, hacker, product recall and political risk insurance as well as reinsurance.[21]

Shareholder structure[edit]

As at 28 February 2011, Invesco Limited was the largest shareholder in Hiscox with a 14.04% stake. Massachusetts Financial Services Company (5.15%) and Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc. (5.10%) were the other institutions to hold more than 5% in the company.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2020" (PDF). Hiscox. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "History". Hiscox. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
  3. ^ "New Chairman Named By Lloyd's of London". The New York Times. 13 December 1966. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
  4. ^ Wynn, Sheridan (10 September 2006). "Business Interview: Robert Hiscox, Chairman, Hiscox". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  5. ^ Eakin, Jan (22 July 1997). "The Market: Fall continues in heavy trading". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 September 2005. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  6. ^ Cave, Andrew (23 December 1998). "US insurer buys stake in Hiscox". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 30 November 2005. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  7. ^ Edwards, Simon (21 March 2001). "Hiscox rejects Chubb takeover". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 June 2008.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Chubb sells Hiscox stake". Investors Chronicle. 16 April 2004. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  9. ^ Seib, Christine (19 September 2006). "Omega to follow Hiscox to tax-free haven". The Times. London. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  10. ^ Hiscox hands SEO account to VCCP Search. Retrieved 16 August 2009
  11. ^ "Hiscox announces Direct Asia acquisition". Post on line. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Doremus Launches 'Encourage Courage' Campaign for Hiscox Insurance". Adweek. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Hiscox report and accounts 2019" (PDF).
  14. ^ "Hiscox Interim Results 2021".
  15. ^ Guerry2020-11-02T08:31:00+00:00, Yannick. "Rate rises fuel premium income growth for Hiscox". Insurance Times. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Hiscox adds $48mn to Covid-19 BI losses following Supreme Court judgement - Reinsurance News". ReinsuranceNe.ws. 15 January 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Small businesses win Covid insurance payouts after UK supreme court victory". The Guardian. 15 January 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  18. ^ "No evidence of reputation hit to business, says Hiscox global retail CEO: Post online". Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Hiscox preliminary results 2020" (PDF).
  20. ^ "Personal Insurance". Hiscox. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  21. ^ "Commercial Insurance". Hiscox. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  22. ^ "Investors: Major shareholders". Hiscox. Retrieved 12 April 2011.

External links[edit]