Canadian Underwriter

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Drilling Down for New Solutions

December 1, 2003 Craig Harris

The oil and gas industry was already facing steep insurance rate hikes and capacity concerns before the terrorist attacks of 9/11. More than two years after that event, it is still reeling from coverage restrictions, record-level deductibles and a massive spike in prices. However, the bigger players appear to have learnt their lesson of the insurance market’s pricing vagaries, and they have identified and created alternative risk transfer mechanisms.

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RSA Canada Combined Ratio Drops

December 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

As parent company Royal & SunAlliance Group announced its overall losses had narrowed to 146 million pounds from 156 million pounds for the first nine months of 2003, the Canadian operation says its own financial results are improving. Despite losses

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Kingsway Disposes of Florida-Based MGA

December 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Kingsway Financial Services (TSX: KFS) has sold its approximate 25% equity stake in USA Insurance Group to BISYS Group Inc. (NYSE: BSG) for a net proceed (consisting of both cash and stock in BSG) of about US$19.6 million. USA Insurance

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Turning Soft…

December 1, 2003 Sean van Zyl, Editor

Some in the property and casualty insurance industry believe that “price stabilization” could translate into “soft market” as insurers head into a new year. U.S. industry results at this year’s half mark already showed a dramatic reduction in the growth

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CAMIC 2003: Passages

December 1, 2003 Vikki Spencer

Passages: from the French “passager”, literally meaning to execute a passage – the insurance industry today is navigating its way through a host of changes, not the least of which is being provided by a constantly shifting legal and regulatory environment. For Canada’s mutual insurers, which met recently in Montreal for the annual Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (CAMIC) convention, some of these challenges take on a unique flavor.

Kathy Pryden
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North American Insurance Conference: Line in the Sand

December 1, 2003 Vikki Spencer

The skies may have been clear over St. Pete’s Beach for the annual North American Insurance Conference this fall, but the prospects for the insurance industry are far from bright, speakers told the conference. Insurers are facing a crisis of confidence, with everyone from regulators to raters, and especially consumers, taking a jaundiced view of the industry. And, alarmingly, there are fears the industry may already be sinking back into the soft pricing/writing for marketshare environment that led to its current stormy situation.

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The Facility Association – A Market Competitor?

December 1, 2003 Bob Tisdale, President and COO of Pembridge Insurance

When the market of “last resort” – the property and casualty insurance industry’s Facility Association (FA) – begins to show exponential growth, something in the market is wrong…terribly wrong! The FA is presently growing at an alarming rate, with total business of about $1 billion, while losses for just this year have topped $500 million. Ultimately, insurers have to ask just where does the “buck stop”.

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Market Force

December 1, 2003 Vikki Spencer

When David Simpson took over leadership of the Facility Association (FA) in 2001, the auto insurance industry was on the cusp of difficult times – facing mounting losses and rate inadequacy. Over the past two years, that situation has come to a head, and its impact has been seen in rising volumes and mounting losses for FA, the industry’s pool for high-risk drivers.

Peter Parkin
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Primary Insurer Strategies 2004: Towing The Bottom-Line

December 1, 2003 Sean van Zyl, Editor

“Cautious optimism” – would seem to generally sum up the points of view of primary insurer CEOs in looking ahead to 2004. While this year saw the first signs of a profit recovery within the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry – with the premium pool rising by almost a third to reach a staggering $30 billion – the past 12 months also dealt insurers several blows in the form of higher catastrophe losses, rising prior-year adverse reserve developments, a spilling of red ink from the Facility Association, and provincial political intervention on loss-making mandatory covers. The latter, which applies to mostly personal lines auto, remains the greatest concern of insurers as governments have been slow to react with necessary product loss reduction reforms whilst introducing politically-motivated rate freezes. With much riding on the future viability of the auto product, insurer CEOs partaking in CU’s annual “strategic outlook” are hesitant to declare the industry “out of the woods” in terms of achieving a healthy and stable marketplace.

Jim Thompson
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On The Move (December 01, 2003)

December 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

The Insurance Bureau of Canada operations at 240 Duncan Mills Rd. are moving to 2235 Sheppard Ave. East, Toronto. Enterprise Rent-a-Car has named Jim Thompson as vice president and general manager of its Alberta group. He has been with the

This year's B.C. Insurance Person of the Year Award goes to John M. Toomer, partner and manager at Vancouver General Insurance Agency. He has been in the industry for 35 years, starting as an underwriter with Safeco, before moving into the brokerage business. He is a past president of the Greater Vancouver Insurance Brokers Association, on the executive of the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C., and has served on the ICBC broker liaison committee for 13 years.
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Views (December 01, 2003)

December 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

The Toronto Insurance Conference (TIC) hosted its annual “Black Tie Dinner” at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel recently. In attendance were company and vendor representatives, along with TIC member commercial brokers. Guest speaker for the event was Carla Collins, comedian and

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Western Financial Boosts Earnings For 3-Q

December 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Alberta-based Western Financial Group (TSX: WES) increased net income for the third quarter of this year by 45% to $516,810 compared with the $356,677 reported for the same period a year ago. This equates to diluted earnings of 2 a