Canadian Underwriter

Loyalist yearend loss follows exit from personal lines

May 26, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter

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As The Loyalist Insurance Co. wrote its last personal lines policy in December 2002, the market departure was too late to save yearend results, although the company sees promise for 2003.
Overall, parent The Loyalist Insurance Group Ltd. (TSX: LOY) posted a net after-tax loss of $3.9 million, worse than the 2001 loss of $770,000. This includes results from Loyalist Insurance Co., the U.S. and Canadian brokerage operations and investment management operations.
The company has reduced its stake in the insurance arm to 44% through the injection of surplus from a new investor in March, 2003. With the exit from personal lines the company now plans to focus on select specialty lines, as well as growing its warranty and surety programs.
As a result of the personal lines withdrawal, gross written premiums were down for 2002 to $11.4 million from $12.1 million, but its earned premiums rose 5% to $7.3 million from $5.9 million.
The claims loss ratio was 118.8% last year, versus 74.6% the year prior. And the combined ratio was 155.5%, well up from the 111.8% result in 2001.
The company also took at $685,000 write down on income tax assets last year from its underwriting operations.
For the brokerage operations of the group, commissions were up to $2.0 million last year from $1.9 million the year prior, with operations essentially breaking even after losing $250,000 in 2001. And fees from the investment management service were up to $460,251 from $397,805 in 2001.
The company expects improved results for later in 2003 as exposure to its personal lines portfolio dwindles and increasing premiums boost its brokerage line. It also anticipates to attract capital to its new specialty-lines focused insurance operations.

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