Hiscox Ltd. (LSE: HSX) is a Bermuda-incorporated insurance provider, listed on the London Stock Exchange. An underwriter at Lloyd's of London, the company largely specialises in niche areas of the market, offering property and casualty insurance aimed at high net worth individuals and companies, as well as cover against such risks as hacking, kidnapping and satellite damage. The firm is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
The roots of the company lie with the Roberts agency, which commenced underwriting marine insurance at the Lloyd's market in 1901. In 1946 Ralph Hiscox, who had joined the agency as an underwriter of non-marine insurance eight years earlier, formed the Roberts & Hiscox partnership for the purposes of managing syndicates at Lloyd's. Hiscox was elected chairman of Lloyd's in 1967, the same year his son Robert joined the group's Syndicate 33 as an underwriter of fine art and personal accident insurance. Robert Hiscox subsequently took over as head of the partnership in 1970 after the death of his father, and set about growing the size of the business.
In 1987 the firm reorganised - a holding company, Hiscox Holdings Ltd, was established for the group, which comprised the subsidiaries Hiscox Syndicates (for managing syndicates) and Roberts & Hiscox (for introducing and advising members of the Lloyd's market). Expansion beyond the London market followed in 1989 with the formation of a third subsidiary, Hiscox Underwriting, specifically for this purpose.
Roberts & Hiscox and related interests were demerged in 1994, leaving the company as merely an underwriter and manager of syndicates. Having previously listed on the Alternative Investment Market, Hiscox plc transferred to the main market of the London Stock Exchange in July 1997. Following the purchase of a 28% stake in the company by Chubb Corporation in 1998, the company fought to remain independent, successfully rebuffing two takeover offers by 2001. Chubb subsequently sold off its interest in Hiscox in 2004.
In 2005, the company opened a Bermuda office, writing a mix of worldwide reinsurance and retail business. The following year Hiscox plc moved its country of domicile from the United Kingdom to Bermuda, adopting the new name Hiscox Ltd.
For 2009, the company increased its marketing budget from £400,000 to £10 million and is set to launch a mass media campaign with the strap line "as good as our word".