Hudson Insurance Group is a market-leading specialty insurer that operates in the United States and offers a wide range of property and casualty products to corporations, professional firms and individuals through a vast network of retail and wholesale brokers, MGUs and program administrators.
From its headquarters in New York and offices across the U.S. and in Vancouver, Canada, Hudson offers primary and excess insurance on an admitted basis through Hudson Insurance Company and on a non-admitted basis through Hudson Specialty Insurance Company and Hudson Excess Insurance Company.
Its nine business units include Commercial Auto, Crop, Financial Products, General Liability & Package, Healthcare Liability, Non-Medical Professional Liability, Specialty Property & Energy, Surety and Tribal.
In 2018, Hudson celebrated its 100th anniversary, which was made even more memorable as we reached a record $1.4 billion in gross premiums written. This represents an increase of 30% compared to gross premiums written of $1.1 billion in 2017. We experienced growth across most lines, though it was predominantly driven by our Crop, Commercial Auto, Liability & Package and Tribal businesses.
Our underwriting performance was positive despite current year extraordinary losses. Crop was impacted by drought in Texas, Hurricane Michael and reduced commodity prices. Commercial Auto was impacted by a larger frequency of severe claims.
However, our results benefited from favorable prior year development, principally from liability lines of business. For the year, we produced a net combined ratio of 99.5% compared to 91.8% in 2017.
We continue to see the benefit from the investments made to expand into niche products and specialized services. Our newest business, Subcontractor Default Insurance, launched in March 2018, generated gross premiums written of $9 million in less than 12 months. Our third-party administrator, Napa River Insurance Services, grew its client base significantly and increased staff accordingly across the safety and risk management team, as well as its claims team, which has tripled in size since 2017.
Our efforts to build underwriting operations from the ground-up, acquire niche businesses and partner with key distributors has fueled our growth and ultimately created the Hudson you know today. We are proud of our history and will continue to invest in talent and technology to ensure our future sustainability. As Hudson enters its second century of operation, we are excited by the many new ways we can deliver innovative specialty insurance products and services to our valued clients.
Christopher L. Gallagher
Chief Executive Officer
Hudson Insurance Group