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ICBC’s nine month earnings soar on asset gains


November 5, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter


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Crown insurer the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia’s (ICBC) net earnings rose by 4.5 times to $111.7 million for the first nine months of this year compared with the $24.4 million disclosed for the same period in 2002. The dramatic jump in net earnings include gains made on the sale of claim center property as well as the Telus Building located in Burnaby, a company statement says.
The crown insurer increased net earned premiums by 9% to $2.13 billion for the first nine months of this year versus the $1.95 billion reported for the first three quarters of 2002. The growth in premium income largely resulted from an average 7.4% increase in rates introduced last year, although the insurer also a 1.8% rise in the number of basic policies sold, the statement observes. “Favorable returns will help ICBC rebuild its reserve capital. Our reserves were significantly depleted with the net loss of $251 million in 2001 and the $219 million cost of the dividend paid out in early 2001,” says president Nick Geer.
ICBC’s claim costs for the latest nine month reporting period remained almost static at $1.88 billion when compared with last year’s cost. However, the insurer witnessed a 10.2% increase in the average cost of personal injury claims during the latest period. “This increasing trend of higher average claims costs continues to be a concern,” the statement notes.