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Hardy posts $28m half-year loss

Hardy Underwriting Bermuda Ltd yesterday announced a half-year post-tax loss of $17.1 million (about $28 million) after claims poured in from what the company described as “the most extraordinary run of catastrophe losses that the market has ever seen”.

The London-listed company, which redomiciled to Bermuda in 2007 and established an underwriting platform in Par-la-Ville Road in 2008, said it had purchased additional reinsurance to protect it in further areas of exposure.

The loss compares to a profit of £2 million ($3.3 million) in the same period in 2010.

As it released its interim results, Hardy also announced the appointment of Ian Parker as its chief operating officer. Mr Parker was recruited from Zurich Financial Services AG.

In addition, Paul Dawson has been appointed to develop a new energy account from next year.

Hardy chairman David Mann said: “The last 18 months have been extremely challenging. In common with the wider market, Hardy has incurred large losses.

“The overall development of the business, with the aim of achieving a larger, well diversified short tail portfolio with above average long run returns, however, remains on track.

“We have strengthened all areas of the business, and will continue to add to the team, building on our strong brand and reputation, in lines of business where we are able to attract first class underwriters.”

Hardy does most of its business through the Lloyd’s of London market. As it has a more internationally focused catsatrophe portfolio than most of its more US-focused Lloyd’s rivals, Hardy said it had been hit hard by earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan and flooding in Australia this year, while the tornadoes in the US had brought “modest losses”.

It added that the scale and complexity of the losses was so great that further revisions to estimates were ongoing.

Its combined ratio, which indicates the percentage of premium dollars spent on claims and expenses, was 119 percent, 30 points of which were attributable to catastrophe losses, compared to 102 percent last year.

Hardy said its Bermuda office was proving itself as a platform to gain greater access to the US property treaty and direct and facultative markets. Meanwhile the Singapore office from which Hardy started underwriting in December 2010 has made good progress in its first year, the company said.

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Published August 26, 2011 at 10:43 am (Updated August 26, 2011 at 10:42 am)

Hardy posts $28m half-year loss

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