ArgoGlobal, the Lloyd’s insurer and member of Argo Group, today announced plans to exit Syndicate 1200 underwriting operations in Asia and most of its hull underwriting business within the syndicate. All existing policies remain valid and the company will manage claims handling through its London operation.
“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.” said Matt Harris, group head of international operations. The Asia business accounted for less than 3% of Syndicate 1200 gross written premium in 2018.
The company also announced plans to exit most of its hull underwriting business within Syndicate 1200 as recently recorded combined ratios are also unsustainable. “This is another step in our overall drive to increase profitability,” added Harris. “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.” Syndicate 1200 hull underwriting represented less than 3% of gross written premium in 2018. The company will, however, consider writing certain hull risks on a limited basis through Syndicate 1200 from Dubai.
These announcements have no impact on Argo Group’s Ariel Re Syndicate 1910 business, including its growing Hong Kong-based renewable energy business.