Hiscox reports £106m loss for H1, sets aside £177m for COVID-19 claims

Hiscox has earmarked £177m for COVID-19 claims in its H1 2020 results and announced a pre-tax loss for the period of £106m, compared with a profit of £129m for H1 2019.

The group reported a gross written premium of £1.7bn for the period, down 4% on the previous year.

Chairman Robert Childs said: “After three successive years of heavy natural catastrophe losses, 2020 has brought a catastrophe of a different kind. The outbreak of the first global pandemic of the modern era has touched every part of the economy, and changed the way we live, work and interact with each other.”

Commenting on the business interruption test case against the Financial Conduct Authority, Childs said: “Notwithstanding that we do not consider this to be a covered loss, and significant uncertainties around the final judgement exist, we provided a risk scenario in our first quarter trading statement on 5th May. The scenario takes into account our view of the number of customers either ordered to close or with premises materially impacted, savings likely to be made by customers on their normal business expenses and various forms of government relief available to businesses, adjusting for wider business trends resulting from reduced economic activity. Based on this scenario, our analysis suggests a range of modelled outcomes between £10m and £250m net of reinsurance.”

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