Hiscox has announced that it plans to increase the capacity of Syndicate 33 by £450mn to £1.62bn for 2018 in anticipation of a “widespread market turn” following a recent spate of major natural catastrophes.
In a statement, Hiscox explained: “The increase in capacity is driven by an anticipated improvement in market conditions and a desire to have sufficient capacity available to participate in a widespread market turn.”
The decision, which is subject to Lloyd’s approval, follows a period of significant catastrophe activity in 2017, which Hiscox estimates has eroded more than $100bn of industry capital.
Compared to the 2017 forecast published at this time last year, the syndicate expects to write 57 percent more direct gross written premium (GWP) for 2018 at £1.06bn, driven by binding authorities business which is forecast to rise by 64 percent to £575.9mn.
2017 has seen a number of major catastrophe events so far, including Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Maria and most recently Nate, in addition to the Mexico earthquakes.
Earlier this month, Hiscox revealed that it anticipates combined net claims of $225mn arising from Hurricane Harvey and Irma.