Feb 24 (Reuters) - Hiscox Ltd posted an 12.4 percent rise in full-year profit as the Lloyds of London insurer and reinsurer recorded fewer claims during a benign U.S. hurricane season.
Pretax profit jumped to 244.5 million pounds ($408.00 million) as the insurer did not take any material hits from catastrophes until the floods that hit Britain at the end of last year.
Hiscox, which underwrites risks ranging from oil rigs to kidnappings, fine art, property and vintage cars, said it expected to reserve 5 million pounds to cover UK flood claims from January and February, having already set aside 11 million pounds for December.
Net premiums rose 7 percent to 1.28 billion pounds.
Investment returns dropped to 1.9 percent from 3.1 percent as Hiscox - like fellow European insurers including Allianz and Lancashire - took a blow from ultra-low interest rates in developed countries.