Newline Group is a market leading provider of specialty insurance operating through two underwriting platforms, Newline Syndicate 1218 at Lloyd’s and Newline Insurance Company Limited. Headquartered in London, with offices in Leeds, Cologne, Singapore, Melbourne and Malaysia, and an underwriting division within Lloyd’s Insurance Company (China) Limited, Newline Group offers a suite of casualty products in more than 80 countries around the world. Our territorial focus is predominantly the UK, Continental Europe, Australia, Asia Pacific and Canada.
Our product offerings, which are available on a direct and facultative basis, include Public Liability, Employers Liability, Products Liability, Commercial Crime, Bankers Blanket Bond, Professional Liability, Directors & Officers Liability, Medical Malpractice, Space, Cargo and Specie. Our newest product, Affinity & Special Risks, was launched in 2017 and provides both Motor-related and Non-Motor Warranty, as well as an array of ancillary products. This market presents a significant growth opportunity for Newline as we seek to expand our product offerings across new and existing distribution channels.
Newline delivered excellent results in 2017, with gross premiums written of $205.1 million and a net combined ratio of 92.4%. This compares to gross premiums written of $169.3 million and a net combined ratio of 96.4% in 2016. We saw continued growth in our Liability portfolio along with increased volume from our new busness unit, Affinity & Special Risks. Losses in Cargo related to Harvey, Irma and Maria were relatively minor and offset by favourable prior development in other lines, namely Liability, Financial Institutions and Commercial D&O.
Throughout 2017 we continued to build our capabilities by investing in talent and technology around the world. Our newer offices in Cologne and Leeds are progressing well, and our territorial expansion plans are ongoing, enabling us to be closer to our distribution partners and our clients, providing further opportunities for growth. We are also working with other members of the Fairfax group to develop product solutions, offer greater capacity and provide better service for the benefit of our clients.
Carl A. Overy
Chief Executive Officer