Axis retreats from four business lines in London

Axis Capital has exited marine hull, management liability, power and product recall as it seeks to reduce exposure to underperforming lines, The Insurance Insider can reveal.

The insurer made the announcement to staff on Monday. In total, fewer than 15 staff will be affected by the changes.

The management liability segment provided cover for directors and officers of publicly traded and private companies. It wrote a worldwide book of primary and excess business with a line size of up to $25mn.

The team was led by Oliver Wheeler, who had been in charge of management liability since 2010, according to LinkedIn.

Axis will continue to write cover for financial institutions in London, which is managed in a separate division.

Meanwhile, the carrier is the latest in a long line of insurers to retreat from writing marine hull, which has been a poorly performing line for a number of years. According to its website, Axis previously offered a maximum line size of $100mn.

Navigators pulled out of hull in August, with Argo Syndicate 1200 following suit at the beginning of this month.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions also concentrated all their European hull operations in Genoa last month.

Axis will continue to write marine war business. The marine hull and war team in London was headed up by Richard Bridges.

Meanwhile, the product recall market has also been under severe pricing pressure following years of rate reductions and overcapacity, while the power market has not been immune to the softening seen in other specialty lines in recent years.

Axis said in a statement: “After several years of continued marketplace challenges that have eroded price and margin, Axis has made the difficult decision to exit the marine hull, power, management liability solutions and product recall open market lines of business written out of its London office.

“We have taken this decision as part of our commitment to focus our resources on lines of business where we can have relevance, scale and opportunities for profitable growth.”

The changes only impact the classes of business written by Axis Insurance’s international division, which includes the London office.

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