Canadian Underwriter

What’s New: In Brief (August 23, 2007)

August 23, 2007   by Canadian Underwriter

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Canadas property and casualty insurers led an overall decline in operating profit in the countrys financial services sector during 2007 Q2, according to a recent report by Statistics Canada.
Operating profits in the financial sector fell 1.4% to [Cdn]$17.3 billion in the second quarter, the Statistics Canada report, Quarterly Financial Statistics for Enterprises, reads. Property and casualty insurers led the decline with operating profits down 16% to [Cdn]$1.1 billion.
This was due to a decrease in premiums and reduced gains from the sale of securities and other assets.

A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the financial strength ratings (FSR) to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) for the following subsidiaries of the Northbridge Financial Corporation:
Markel Insurance Company of Canada (Markel) (Toronto, Ontario),
Federated Insurance Company of Canada (Federated) (Winnipeg, Manitoba),
Commonwealth Insurance Company (Vancouver, B.C.),
Commonwealth Insurance Company of America (Seattle, WA),
Lombard General Insurance Company of Canada (Lombard General) and
Zenith Insurance Company (both of Toronto, Ontario).
Concurrently, A.M. Best affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) of Lombard Insurance Company (Toronto, Ontario).
In addition, A.M. Best has upgraded the ICR to bbb from bbb- of Northbridge Financial Corporation (Northbridge).
The outlook for all ratings is stable.
In its comments on the ratings advisory, A.M. Best said: The rating upgrades of the Northbridge subsidiaries reflect their positive 10-year average underwriting and operating performance, which favorably compares with similarly rated insurers. In particular, A.M. Best credited the subsidiaries for their long-term sustainability of financial performance, quality management teams, very favorable reserving trends overall and specific to each subsidiary, niche business focus, [and] capital levels, which exceed the range required for the ratings and above average long-term investment results.

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