Canadian Underwriter

Co-operators struggles in 2001

February 28, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

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Direct writer Co-operators General Insurance (TSE: CCS.PR.A) finished last year with a loss, both in fourth quarter and yearend results. Overall, the company suffered an after tax loss of $10.8 million, or $0.97 per share, compared with income of $31.7 million, or $1.13 per share, in 2000.
Losses for the fourth quarter 2001 were $2.6 million after tax, or $0.27 per share, compared to income of $17.3 million, or $0.71 per share, for the same period in 2000.
While gross written premiums were up for both the period and the year, claims hit the company hard. For the fourth quarter 2001, the claims ratio soared to 80.7%, well above the 68.0% achieved in the same period the year prior. The company’s combined ratio also rose for the quarter, to 110.7% versus 101.8% in 2000.
Investment income was also down at yearend, to $142.3 million from $157.4 million the year prior.
The company remains “cautiously optimistic” despite the results, says president and CEO Terry Squire. “This has been a disappointing year, not only for Co-operators General but for the entire property and casualty industry,” he says. “While significant rate increases have been implemented, the high cost of serious personal injury claims continues unabated.”

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