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St. Paul and Travelers Merge in Stock Deal

December 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

The St. Paul Companies Inc. and Travelers Property Casualty Corp. recently announced a merger of the two companies to form a US$20 billion global operation based on net written premiums. The deal, which involves a trading of stock between the

Mark Yakabuski
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Ontario Government Gives Auto Insurers the Freeze

December 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

New legislation introduced by the Ontario Liberal government to freeze auto insurance rates offers both “good news” and “bad news” for insurers, says the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). While the IBC opposed the idea of formalizing the rate freeze,

Dennis Mahoney
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Aon Re Chief Cautious of Market’s Strength

December 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

The global property and casualty insurance industry at both the primary and reinsurance levels faces significant challenges in the year ahead despite the overall increase in profitability brought on by the hard market, comments Dennis Mahoney, chairman of Aon Re

Doug Grahlman
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IBAO 2003 Convention: A Crises of Credibility

December 1, 2003 Vikki Spencer and Sean van Zyl

The recently held Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) annual convention hosted a panel of primary insurer CEOs who were put before the firing line of the 500-plus audience of mostly independent brokers who felt that the “hard market” has brought on an unnecessarily “hard attitude” by insurers in their relationship with the brokerage community. While defending the “strength” of company relations with brokers, the CEOs admit that some actions taken by insurers during the latest hard market in terms of cutting broker contracts and forcing “standard risks” into the non-standard market may have been overly severe – the cost being a loss of faith in insurance companies from brokers to consumers.

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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.