The Hiscox PLC Board has approved the decision to resume the payment of the interim dividend at 11.5 cents per share with a progressive dividend policy going forward. The record date for the dividend will be 13 August 2021 and the payment date will be 22 September 2021. The Board proposes to offer a Scrip alternative, subject to the terms and conditions of Hiscox's 2019 Scrip Dividend Scheme. The last date for receipt of Scrip elections will be 27 August 2021 and the reference price will be announced on 7 September 2021.
Other financial highlights include:
Gross premiums written increased by 8.5% to $2,426.2 million (2020: $2,235.5 million) driven by good growth and positive rate momentum in all three divisions.
2020 Covid-19 net claims unchanged at $475 million; 2021 claims estimate lower than expected at $17 million.
Pre-tax profit of $133.4 million (2020: loss of $138.9 million); excluding Covid-19 net claims and loss portfolio transfer costs, pre-tax profit of $176.4 million
In big-ticket, net premiums written are growing at a faster rate than gross premiums as they deployed more capital into a hard market.
o Hiscox London Market net premiums written up 16.7% and delivered profit before tax of $87.3 million (2020: $16.3 million).
o Hiscox Re & ILS net premiums written up 39.7% returned to profit of $38.1 million (2020: loss of $15.0 million) despite $33 million impact of Winter Storm Uri.
Hiscox Retail gross premiums written grew 7.9% to $1.2 billion (2020: $1.1 billion).
o Group digital partnerships and direct business grew gross premiums written by 23%, delivering $355.0 million and now serving around 880,000 customers.
o US digital partnerships business grew by 30%, delivering pross premiums written of $219.8 million and now serving circa 490,000 customers.
o The US broker business is half way through the planned $100 million premium reduction. Adjusting for this, the Retail go-forward portfolio grew by 6.4% in constant currency
Underlying combined ratio for Hiscox Retail of 96.7% demonstrates an improvement on the full year 2020 and is on track to meet the target of 90-95% by 2023.
Investment return of $61.9 million (2020: $84.6 million) impacted by low reinvestment yield on bond portfolio.
Strong reserves at 11.3% above actuarial estimate (2020: 9.6%).
Strong capital position with an estimated 210% Bermuda solvency capital ratio (BSCR), a 20-point improvement on the December 2020 position.
Bronek Masojada, Group CEO is to retire end of this year; Aki Hussain, currently Group CFO, appointed CEO, effective January 2022