April 9, 2021 by David Gambrill
Canadian Underwriter will be hosting a webinar, Commercial lines post-COVID: What the future holds, on Monday, Apr. 12, at 1 pm ET, to talk about the impact of the hard market on Canada’s commercial lines segment.
The webinar will discuss a number of themes, including the current state of Canada’s P&C commercial lines market; the difference between the existing hard market and previous ones; best practices for brokers and underwriters to work together during the hard market; and what the future may hold.
Appearing on the panel will be Richard Grant, chief operating officer of Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, Stéphane Lespérance, Aon’s president of commercial risk and health solutions, and Steve Phillips, chief operating officer of Sovereign Insurance. Click here to register.
Canada’s commercial lines segment has been in the grip of a hard market in a number of business classes since before COVID. Even so, Canadian commercial P&C insurers held the line on their combined ratios last year after barely “outrunning the bear” of escalating claims, according to the Q4 2020 MSA Quarterly Outlook Report.
“Despite top line [direct premiums written] growth of 18%, commercial insurers basically held the line on their combined ratios,” MSA Research president and CEO Joel Baker commented in the MSA report. “Net earned premiums were up by 16% while net claims raced ahead by 17%.
“The saving grace was a one-point decline in expense ratios (driven by higher overall volumes against fixed expenses) enabling the sector to tread water and remain at 95.6%.”
Insurers’ reserve releases were at a 10-year low last year, with releases being focused in the areas of commercial property, auto and professional liability.
“Incurred claims have been galloping ahead during COVID for commercial writers and reinsurers,” Baker observed. “We don’t foresee a return to soft market conditions in the next 12 months.”