Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading M&A in Insurance Distribution Continues to Soar to Record Heights. This week we’re bringing you:
Hiscox confirms how COVID-19 impacted its full-year results*
“A resilient performance in a challenging year” is how Hiscox Ltd described its full-year results for 2020. The global insurer posted a loss before tax of $268.5 million, driven by COVID compared to its profit of $53.1 million in 2019. Its COVID-19 reserves of $475 million remain unchanged. In better news, however, the business’s gross written premiums (GWP) of $4.03 billion are up slightly from the previous year.
Meanwhile Hiscox London Market delivered profits of $97.2 million, up substantially from last year’s $23.3 million and Hiscox Retail grew 3% to $2.3 billion. The insurer’s direct and partnerships business increased by 15% and is now approaching $600 million GWP and serving over 800,000 customers.
Hiscox Re & ILS has seen a downturn in its GWP of 14%, down to $743.4 million from 2019’s $866.5 million and Hiscox noted that this was driven by a disciplined approach to price inadequacy at the start of the year.
Insurance M&A deals keep rolling in*
Mergers and acquisitions activity in the insurance sector was strong in 2020 despite COVID-19 and is expected to remain robust in 2021 as rising commercial insurance rates bolster earnings, making insurers attractive targets, and “deployable capital” remains abundant, analysts and others say.
Insurance technology investing has also grown, they said.
Some in the industry were “surprised at how much deal activity there ended up being last year,” despite the interruption to markets in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Vikram Sidhu, New York-based partner at law firm Clyde & Co.
Deal advisors expected COVID-19 to chill deal activity, but 2020 proved to be a busy M&A year for the sector globally, he said.
Similarly, deal activity in the broker sector paused only briefly, said John Marra, a deals partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New York.
Lemonade CEO on the company’s quarterly earnings and new offerings*
Lemonade CEO Daniel Schreiber joins ‘Closing Bell’ to discuss the insurance company’s outlook after reporting disappointing earnings, the Texas weather impact and new product launches.
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