Lloyd’s of London insurer and member of Argo Group, ArgoGlobal, has announced plans to exit Syndicate 1200 underwriting operations in Asia and the majority of its hull underwriting business within the syndicate.
The move comes as part of recent actions undertaken by the firm to improve profitability in the syndicate. In 2018, the Asia business accounted for less than 3% of Syndicate 1200 gross written premiums.
The firm has said that all existing policies remain valid and it will manage claims handling through its London operation.
Group Head of International Operations, Matt Harris, commented: “Over the past two years, we’ve taken deliberate steps to improve profitability in Syndicate 1200 and ultimately enhance shareholder value. We’re executing this through underwriting actions, increased rates, and a focus on digital technology to improve underwriting margins.
“The ArgoGlobal Syndicate 1200’s Asia business recently recorded combined ratios are unsustainable and, whilst we still see growth opportunities in the region, we need to prioritize our efforts on profitable growth in other markets.”
At the same time, ArgoGlobal has revealed that it will exit most of its hull underwriting business within the syndicate, citing unsustainable combined ratios.
“This is another step in our overall drive to increase profitability. It is important to note; however, we are fully committed to the remaining marine classes we insure and insuring hull on non-Lloyd’s platforms,” said Harris.
Hull underwriting within Syndicate 1200 represented less than 3% of gross written premium in 2018. However, the firm has said that it will consider writing certain hull risks on a limited basis through Syndicate 1200 from Dubai.
The company states that these announcements have no impact on Argo Global’s Ariel Re Syndicate 1910 business, including its Hong Kong-based renewable energy operation.