Helix Underwriting to Write Excess Casualty, Forming Agency Agreement with Watford

April 19, 2021

Helix Underwriting Partners Ltd., the Bermuda-based managing general agency, has expanded its agency platform into the excess casualty insurance segment.

The move will see Tim Hadler join as chief underwriting officer to lead the new program, which has received regulatory approval from the Bermuda Monetary Authority, with Nigel Mortimer becoming a director and strategic adviser of Helix.

Lefebvre said the launch of the excess casualty offering will allow Helix to build its portfolio and broaden the products available for its insured partners. He noted that there has been a marked decrease in capacity in this line over the last 24 months.

In another move in the excess casualty area, Helix said it has formed a long-term agency agreement with Watford Re Ltd.

“We are very pleased to have entered into a partnership with Watford Re, complimented by a strong panel of reinsurers to ensure long-term stability in the capacity being provided. We expect the market to welcome Helix’s new program, which features a maximum individual risk line of $25 million,” said Claude Lefebvre, president of Helix.

The excess casualty crisis of the mid-1980s proved to be a pivotal period in the history of Bermuda’s re/insurance market, recalled Hadler, noting that the reasons for the current dislocation are well documented.

“Many carriers are cutting back on their casualty portfolios with over $400 million of capacity that has recently pulled out of the market,” Hadler said. “This is an opportunity for Bermuda as a market and Bermudian talent to shine and we’re really very pleased to soon be welcoming Richard Weare, Jack Keyes and Kameka Simmons to Helix’s casualty team.” (Editor’s note: social inflation, years of underpricing and growing losses have led many insurers to pull back their capacity in casualty).

Hadler and Mortimer bring a combined 50-plus years of casualty re/insurance experience to Helix. Until recently, both worked for Argo Group, where Mortimer was president of the Bermuda insurance operation he founded with Hadler in 2009. Mortimer currently is executive chairman of Kettle Re and will retain that position.

Founded by industry veterans Lefebvre, Nicholas Lucking and Neville Weston in December 2018, Helix is Bermuda’s first multi-line independent managing general agent. Helix’s entry into the casualty excess of loss market is a significant expansion of its platform and complements its Middle Market Property Insurance program, which was launched in January 2020.

Source: Helix Underwriting Partners

Topics Excess Surplus Underwriting Casualty

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