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Moments in Time (February 01, 2004)


February 1, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter


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Germans Take Over – (August 15, 1941)

MANCHESTER – British insurance companies have been eliminated from the French market as the result of an agreement recently signed in Paris between French and German insurance companies.

All risks too heavy for French companies to handle will henceforth be shared by French and German companies, according to the agreement, and as a concession the German companies will charge the same rates as the French, thus eliminating the possibility of rate cutting.

A “European” pool will be created for reinsurance, which hitherto has been largely assumed in France by Lloyd’s and British companies. Since the war severed relations with British head offices, the French fire insurance market had got into difficulties, and will now be put on a sound basis by increasing the insurance rates by about 30 per cent, says the official German news agency. The head office of the new pool will be in Berlin.

Public Liability Claims Frequent, Varied, Costly – (August 15, 1941)

Here are some recent claims, and what they cost:

Wagon collided with child on tricycle… $525.00

Boy injured by runaway horse… $275.00

Infection from tooth extraction… $251.00

Tenant slipped on boardwalk on premises of apartment house and fractured ankle… $730.00

Tenant fell from balcony in basement of apartment house sustaining serous injury… $1,350.00

Lady customer fell on highly polished floor of gift shop, broken shoulder…$180.00

Pedestrian fell into open grate on sidewalk… $135.00

Man fell into unguarded excavation on sidewalk… $1,400.00

Man fell into pit at service station, injured collarbone… $450.00

Superintendent’s Statistical Summary (1943)

By G.D. Finlayson, Dominion Superintendent of Insurance

(January 15, 1944)

The fire and casualty business will probably show a decrease in premiums written and a loss ratio not greatly different from that of last year when net fire premiums less licensed reinsurance amounted to just over $48,000,000, and loss to approximately $21,000,000, with a loss ratio of 43.6%. Automobile and casualty premiums written will again exceed the fire premiums. Automobile business, the most important class other than fire, may show a loss ratio higher than that of last year due to heavy traffic accidents; the ratio should, however, be well under 50%.

Hail insurance, formerly an important class but latterly much reduced and at all times one with wide fluctuations in results, has been disastrous from an underwriting standpoint in 1943; on a premium income of about $1,400,000, less by $200,000 than the premiums for 1942, the losses have been approximately $300,000 greater than those of the previous year and the loss ratio will exceed 110% of the premiums written.

Insured Loss from Halifax Riot Will Approximate $500,000 – (June 1, 1945)

The total insured loss as a result of the riot that occurred in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on V-E day is likely to be in the neighbourhood of a half million dollars, according to those in close touch with the situation. The insured plate glass loss will probably be in the neighbourhood of $200,000 and, in addition to that, insurance losses under riot and civil commotion policies will be somewhat in excess of that figure.

As reported previously, insurance interests acted promptly in setting up the machinery for the handling of claims. The companies decided to act jointly in the matter and under the aegis of the All-Canada Insurance Federation, a committee was formed for this purpose…

In addition, of course, the companies are watching the inquiry being conducted by Mr. Justice Kellock, as a Royal Commissioner under the Federal Inquiries Act, since a result of the inquiry is expected to be the fixing of financial responsibility for the losses sustained.

Legion Calls for Insurance Legislation Amendments – (August 1, 1947)

MOOSE JAW, SK – A resolution recommending that the provincial government should not introduce further restrictive insurance legislation and that present insurance legislation be amended so that it will not interfere with writing of insurance in free competition, was passed here by the Saskatchewan command of the Canadian Legion. Preamble to the resolution indicated that about 40 per cent of Saskatchewan insurance agents are veterans of the past war and had invested their gratuities and earnings in the insurance business.

E.W. Hudson, Moose Jaw, claimed “the government has taken away the cream of the thing, but they have made no move to offer agents rebates on their license fees. We do not mind the government competition, but we do resent government monopoly.”

Salute to a New Province: Newfoundland – (April 1, 1949)

That insurance is a vital factor in Newfoundland’s economy as elsewhere in Canada is axiomatic. With its all-important maritime activities, the first colony to fly England’s flag has been steeped in the tradition of insurance since the business, as we know it, was timidly launched in the 17th century.

The Newfoundland Board of Fire Underwriters, of St. John’s, an old established association of companies operating in the colony, is thus likely to remain the sole regulatory body for insurance in the new province. As a matter of interest, 1947 membership of the Newfoundland “Board” numbered 84 companies, all of whom operated in Canada in the same year, and the total of net premiums in that year was $1,151,771, of which amount $49,435 was accounted for by premiums on sprinklered risks.