Canadian Underwriter

Fairfax, Odyssey hit by WTC and Enron claims

February 11, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

Print this page Share

On the tail of a slew of terrible fourth quarter 2001 reportings from insurers, Canadian-based Fairfax is the latest to tell its tale of financial woe in the wake of September 11. The World Trade Center (WTC) attacks, combined with the failure of U.S. energy giant Enron, led the company to a $346 million loss for the year, compared to $137.4 million profit in 2000. This works out to a loss of $28.04 per share for 2001, versus a gain of $9.41 the year prior.
The company’s WTC loss estimate grew by $48.3 million in the fourth quarter, bringing its net loss estimate to $288.3 million (gross loss: $1.28 billion). The additional exposures belong largely to Fairfax’s reinsurance subsidiary Odyssey Re. The company has also made a $23 million provision for Odyssey Re’s exposure to the Enron collapse.
The company also reports that strengthening of prior years’ accident claims reserves played a role in the poor results, largely from its U.S. insurance companies. The company’s overall combined ratio for 2001 is 121%, versus 116% in 2000. Without the WTC attacks, Enron and Tropical Storm Allison losses, the ratio would have been 110%.
For Canadian insurance operations alone, the combined ratio sits at 116% versus 102% in 2000. This is largely due to winter storm and hail exposures, the company reports, as well as adverse development on the Lombard subsidiary’s discontinued extended warranty programs, and prior years’ losses for Commonwealth’s property and energy business in the U.S.
Net earned premiums were up, to $4.8 billion overall, over $4.6 billion the year prior, with $730 million coming from Canadian insurance companies. However, a lag in investment income, which fell to $162.3 million from $382.8 million, dragged overall revenue down.

Print this page Share

Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *