Andrew Horton, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of specialist re/insurer Beazley, has outlined the potential growth opportunities the company considers to be most promising going into 2019.
Commenting on Beazley’s 2018 results, which saw profits fall by 55% due to heavy catastrophe losses and low investment yields, the CEO highlighted the opportunity for further growth in the U.S market, as well as in cyber, specialty liability and financial institutions lines.
“Growth in insurance can be opportunistic – driven by firming premium rates – but it can also be strategic, based on an insurer’s position in growth markets,” said Horton. “Over time, the latter is more important. Beazley is well positioned in a wide array of growth markets.”
“The cyber insurance market, showing double digit annual growth, is perhaps the most widely discussed,” he noted. “Nevertheless demand is also very strong for the specialty liability products we offer to healthcare providers, technology companies, and property developers confronting environmental liability risks.”
Beazley passed the milestone of $1 billion of premiums written in the U.S in 2018 and exceeded its average five-year growth rate of 18% for its business in the region.
The re/insurer continues to anticipate double digit growth in the U.S during 2019, partly due to strong demand in its accident and health business, which is focused on the need for more ‘supplemental health’ offerings in the market, resulting from the soaring cost of health benefits.
It also sees opportunities in expanding its healthcare and technology offerings, as well as its financial institutions business, which it has not historically underwritten in the U.S.
Outside the U.S, Beazley has also begun a concerted effort to capitalise on the growing demand for specialty liability products, which has been particularly evident in continental Europe.
“We have invested heavily in both people and technology to support the growth of our non-US business, hiring 34 underwriters outside the US in 2018,” Horton added.
Additionally, the company considers itself well-prepared to deal with any fallout resulting from Brexit negotiations in 2019, having recently established a European hub in Dublin to ensure continuity in the operations of its European insurance business.
“Although we are a UK-based business, Brexit should not present any insurmountable challenges for Beazley,” Horton concluded.