Claims Canada

Industry posts solid premium growth, lower combined ratio

April 1, 2013   by Claims Canada

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The Canadian property and casualty insurance market saw substantial growth in premiums in 2012, largely because of growth in personal lines, including improvement in Ontario auto results, according to preliminary data from MSA Research.

The industry’s combined ratio for the year came down to 96.7% from 99.5% in 2011 (not including those in the Lloyd’s market and government insurers), according to the firm’s preliminary figures for the year.

Improved accident benefits results in Ontario and lower property losses allowed for the growth in personal lines, Joel Baker, MSA’s CEO, noted.

Improvement in the Ontario auto market was, however, offset by deterioration in third pazrty liability-bodily injury losses, Baker said. The year-end industry loss ratio for private passenger Ontario auto third party liability-bodily injury topped 102%, he added.

On the commercial side, excluding the Lloyd’s market, commercial writers saw their premium shrink by 4.4% in 2012, Baker noted.  

Reinsurers also saw their results improve, reporting a combined ratio of 97% in 2011 to 89% in 2012, Baker said. That was in part due to a less severe catastrophe year in Canada, as well as somewhat harder rates on cat exposed risks, he said. However investment income in the reinsurance market dropped, yielding a growth of 12.6% in net income, Baker added.

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