British Columbia’s public insurer is reporting increased profits for the quarter ending June 30, 2002, largely the result of changes to its investment portfolio. The Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC) saw a net profit of $39.6 million for the second quarter of this year, compared to $8.5 million profit for the same period in 2001. The result is net income for the first six months of the year of $9.2 million, versus a net loss of $30.6 million at the same point last year. Total premiums written were up 12% to $730 million for the most recent quarter, from $651 million for the second quarter of 2001. However, insurance operations saw an underwriting loss of $67 million, against a loss of $75 million last year during the same time. Claims costs continue to rise, the corporation reports, up to $632 million for the quarter, from $571 million in Q-2 2001. “The rising trend in claims continues to be a major concern for the Corporation,” states a release. “This year has seen a continuing increase in both the frequency and severity of crashes and at the same time, car thefts have increased 14% over last year.” Gains came from the investment side, with investment income up to $129 million versus $107 million for the second quarter last year. ICBC outsourced the management of its Canadian equities portfolio, and linked that portfolio to the S&P/TSX Composite Index during this most recent quarter. “The adjustment of the portfolio to the Index resulted in the disposition of a number of holdings and was responsible for most of the exceptionally high gains on sale of investments in the quarter.” As a result, about $30 million of the gains budgeted to be achieved in the second half of 2002 have already occurred.