Canadian Underwriter

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The “Duffers” Guide to Mediation

October 1, 2003 Linden Rees, president of Linden Rees Consulting

Much has been written about the “trials and tribulations” of mediation. Indeed, generations of competent claims handlers have been thrown into paroxysms of fear at the very thought of having to attend a mediation conference. Notably, some insurers do have

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Coping With Change

October 1, 2003 Axiom

I tell you, all hell is going to break loose, Dave!” The face of Tony, our company’s human resources manager, reflected the displeasure he was feeling. He was normally a pretty laidback sort of fellow – but not right now.

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Liability Insurance: “Tied Selling” or Good Practice?

October 1, 2003 Craig Harris

The insistence on errors and omissions (E&O) insurance for virtually any kind of professional exposure has created some waves in this specialty market, particularly for engineers. Poor results, increasing claims and emerging exposures are prompting insurers to aggressively seek rate adjustments, carefully monitor loss trends, and re-evaluate specific coverages for many lines of E&O. In some cases, such as in Alberta, the regulator is beginning to question whether the approach of insurers falls within accepted business boundaries or whether their actions fall under “tied selling”.

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Feature Mergers and Aqcuisitions

Mid-Sized Commercial Brokers: Holding the Line

October 1, 2003 Craig Harris

Brokers serving the bigger Canadian commercial risk pool outside of the mega international corporations say that rising insurance industry profitability has not softened the tough approach of insurers to pricing, terms and availability of coverage. But, with many commercial clients across the corporate earnings spectrum suffering through their third consecutive year of premium increases, there is acknowledgement by insurers of growing “market rate fatigue”, brokers add, which is bringing about a slow softening to the pricing of property risks with even a few new underwriters looking to venture into the broader commercial marketplace.

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Capital Allocation in Canada: The Three Strikes

October 1, 2003 Vikki Spencer

With all the headaches experienced in the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry right now, not the least of which are struggling results from a volatile auto insurance product, it begs the question: “Why would any insurer want to do business here?” The Canadian industry brings many challenges – stressed financial results, strict capital requirements and a higher tax burden – sources say. These “three strikes” could add up to an “out” for global parents choosing whether or not to put precious capital into this market, they warn.

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Broker Management: Defining “Good” Sales

October 1, 2003 Rick Bauman, president of Bauman Consulting Inc.

Is “less” more for today’s account executives? The idea that every account is a profitable account is misguided – it is time to set your sights higher, or rather sharper.

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Independent Brokers: Tightening the Belt?

October 1, 2003 Sean van Zyl, Editor

While the total value of the Canadian property and casualty insurance marketplace jumped by almost a third last year, the increased revenue benefits did not filter down to higher net earnings for the independent brokerage community, brokers say. In fact, independent brokers point out that they are not making money on personal lines business at all due to the rise in their operating costs brought on by the “hard market”. And, although market conditions are shaping up for improvement next year, brokers fear that a slow return of underwriting capacity combined with the overhead cost incurred from the past two years of lean running could spark a new wave of consolidation within their ranks. At the very least, the independent brokerage community will be facing a year of “belt tightening”, they say.

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Uneasy Optimism…

October 1, 2003 Sean van Zyl, Editor

The financial results of Canadian and U.S. insurers for the first half of this year suggest that the two marketplaces are converging in a positive direction after several years of runaway claims costs. For both U.S. and Canadian companies, the

Feature Mergers and Aqcuisitions

Insurers’ Combined Ratio Drops as Profits Rise For 2-Q

September 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Insurers managed to bring their combined ratio to below the key 100% mark for the second quarter of this year as coverage price hikes implemented by companies over the last two years finally began to outstrip the growth in claims

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Modest Insurance Cost From Blackout Expected

September 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Impact from the blackout that hit the northeastern U.S. and parts of Ontario from Windsor to Ottawa should not be significant, insurance sources on both sides of the border say. The lights went out in Ontario just after 4:00 pm

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Fairfax 2-Q Earnings Soar on Investment Boon

September 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.’s (TSX: FFH) net earnings rose more than five-fold to $246.2 million for the second quarter of this year compared with the $47 million reported for the same period last year. This equates to earnings of $17.15

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Kingsway Discloses 18.2% ROE for 2-Q

September 1, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Kingsway Financial Service Inc. (TSE: KFS) reported a return on equity of 18.2% for the 12 month period leading to the end of the second quarter of this year. This compares with the 11.8% ROE generated by the insurer for