Canadian Underwriter

Where the Co-operators is raising home insurance premiums

March 17, 2020   by Greg Meckbach

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The Co-operators General Insurance Company reported a double-digit increase in homeowners’ premium growth in 2019, which the Guelph, Ont. insurer attributes to higher average premiums in Ontario and Western Canada.

In its annual report released Wednesday, The Co-operators reported net premiums earned in home insurance of $902.7 million in 2019, up 11.5% from $811.2 million in 2018.

“Growth was attributed to higher average premiums in the Ontario and the Western regions,” The Co-operators said in its management discussion and analysis of last year’s financial results.

The company also reported increases in auto and commercial but in those lines, The Co-operators attributed growth in part to an increase in the number of policies.

Canada-wide, the company said its auto premiums rose 15.5% –  from $1.39 billion in 2018 to $1.6 billion in 2019. The jump was driven by higher average premiums and, to a lesser extent, growth in the number of vehicles that it is insuring, The Co-operators said.

Total net earned premiums in all regions and all lines were $3.2 billion in 2019, up from $2.89 billion in 2018. Of its 2019 premiums, $551 million came from commercial, $143 million came from farm and $73 million came from travel and other.

Net income was $174 million in 2019, compared to a net loss of $37 million in 2018.

Claims and benefits were $2.38 billion in 2019, compared to $2.191 billion in 2018.

Excluding market yield adjustment, The Co-operators had an underwriting loss of $37.3 million for 2019, an improvement over its underwriting loss of $152.5 million in 2018.

The factors contributing to the improvement in underwriting results included premium growth in home and auto, as well as fewer major loss events in 2018 than in 2019.

The Co-operators reported a 4.1-point improvement in its combined ratio, from 105.2% in 2018 to 101.1% in 2019. Those figures exclude market yield adjustment, which essentially accounts for the risk that the assets the company holds to pay out on claims could drop in value. Including market yield adjustment, The Co-operators had a combined ratio of 102% last year, down from 105% in 2018.


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