Insurer AmTrust is exiting its marine lines of underwriting business in order to focus on more profitable areas of its book, following a strategic review.
With the Lloyd’s marine book known to be under pressure and one of the lines of business that the market itself has been analysing in its efforts to improve underwriting performance, it’s perhaps no surprise that this would be an area where focus might begin to wane for all but the specialist markets.
An AmTrust spokesperson explained to us, “We can confirm after a strategic review that we are exiting the marine cargo, hull and liability lines of business with immediate effect.”
AmTrust operates in multiple lines of business in the Lloyd’s market, with marine lines largely underwritten in syndicate 1206, as well as some marine liability written by syndicate 1861.
Peter Townsend led the marine underwriting team at AmTrust. He’s said to be between positions at the moment, according to his Linkedin profile.
For AmTrust, the rest of its business is still moving forwards as usual, with the spokesperson saying, “We are excited about the potential for existing and new lines for the rest of 2018 and beyond.”
The marine business of syndicate 1206 underwrote $13.15 million of gross premiums in 2017, up slightly from almost $11 million in 2016. However, large loss activity and adverse attritional loss development for the marine underwriting book hurt the syndicate last year.
Additionally, the reports for syndicate 1861 state that AmTrust’s cargo, marine excess of loss and proportional treaty classes of business were significantly impacted by the 2017 catastrophe loss events, causing gross losses of £11.7 million in the period.
So it may be a combination of the impact of heavy losses last year, the recognition that rates are not where they need to be for many marine underwriting books, and also the lower performance levels of the Lloyd’s market overall in marine classes of business that have driven AmTrust to close this book and focus on the rest of its underwriting.