H2 is off to a positive start as well because it is ‘the first time in 25 years we haven’t had named storms make landfall since August’, says chief underwriting officer

Hiscox Re and ILS reported a combined operating ratio (COR) of 80.2% for 2022’s first half, despite the impact of severe weather events in the US and Australia, according to Matthew Wilken, the reinsurer’s chief underwriting officer.

Speaking exclusively to Global Reinsurance at this year’s Rendez-Vous de Septembre conference in Monte Carlo, Wilken described Hiscox Re and ILS’ first half financial results as “a good start”.

Despite the profitable COR, Wilken added that the reinsurer has still been impacted by severe convective storms and hail in the US during the first six months of the year, which has hit some of the firm’s aggregate covers.

However, Wilken did specify that Hiscox Re and ILS does “not have a huge line in aggregate covers anymore”.

In addition, floods in Australia were a “sizable market event”, Wilken noted. “We’ve got a market share in Australia, so we’ve been impacted by that,” he said.

According to data published by event loss data firm Perils in September 2022, the flooding in eastern Australia that occurred between February and March this year cost the industry $6.3bn (£3.7bn) – 62% of this loss can be attributed to personal lines property losses, while commercial lines property losses represent 28% and motor losses amount to 10%.

Watching weather

As for 2022’s second half, Wilken acknowledged that it is still “too early” to really predict how the reinsurance market will pan out.

However, he did note that it is “the first time in 25 years we haven’t had named storms make landfall since August, so that’s good”.

Despite this seemingly positive start to H2 2022, Wilken noted that there is plenty of activity keeping reinsurers busy.

He continued: “It’s always earthquake season and we’ve already had a number of hurricanes, including ones that impacted Bermuda [in September 2022].”

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