Optio enters political risk market

Optio enters political risk market 150 150 Haggie Partners

Optio Group, comprising MGAs Ascent Underwriting, Cove Programs and broker Bay Risk Services, today announces the launch of a political risk proposition for foreign direct investors (FDIs) in higher-risk markets.

In addition to the standard political risk perils of expropriation, war and forced abandonment, Optio will provide ‘Powered by Hiscox’ crisis management support services, in partnership with leading crisis management specialist, Control Risks. The service will help contain losses by preventing situations, such as detention of staff, illegal occupation, malicious prosecution and blockade from becoming irreversible.

The programme was devised by Nick Hedley, head of political risk and credit insurance, who joined Ascent in November 2018. Capacity for the product is led by Hiscox, with other syndicates also participating.

Paul Western, group chief underwriting officer, Optio said: “the London Market is a leading and long-established political-risks player. However, with many policies designed for large corporations, and based heavily on the RJM (81) policy form from the 1980s, they are not appropriate for today’s FDIs. Optio’s proposition is tailored for businesses typically lacking the sophisticated crisis management capabilities of Fortune 500 corporations, combining traditional indemnity with practical crisis support to avoid or mitigate loss and safeguard the lives of our clients’ personnel.”