Co-operators General Insurance Company reported that net income declined 27 per cent for fiscal year 2022, after peaking in 2021.
Net income was $375.7 million for 2022, down from $512.4 M in 2021, for a decrease of $136.7 million.
Net income for the last three months of 2022 was $110 million, a significant increase of $67.1 million or 156 per cent from $42.9 million in Q4 2021.
The company had a combined ratio of 95.2 per cent in 2022, versus 89.2 per cent in 2021. This six-point rise is mainly attributed to “the deterioration in the loss ratio was primarily from catastrophic events, including the windstorm which swept across Ontario and Quebec in May of 2022 combined with Hurricane Fiona in September which impacted Atlantic Canada and parts of Quebec,” it states in its release dated February 16.
The insurer adds that “the loss ratio was also impacted by increased driving activity as pandemic restrictions were lifted throughout 2022, leading to higher claims activity.” This ratio rose by 5.9 points in one year.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, the combined ratio declined by 4.3 points to 94.7 per cent, compared with 99 per cent in Q4 2021. At the same time, the loss ratio improved by 3.1 points to 57.7 per cent.
Co-operators attributes this progress partly to the fact that the comparative period in 2021 was impacted by the catastrophic flooding in British Columbia. The increase in direct written premiums for the quarter also improved the loss ratio.
The expense ratio contributed to the improvement as well, the insurer continues, primarily due to net earned premium growth outpacing the increase in expenses.
Excluding the market yield adjustment, Co-operators reported underwriting income of $190.9 million in 2022, compared with $406.7 million in 2021. This represents a plunge of 53 per cent or $215.8 million.
In contrast, underwriting income in the fourth quarter of 2022 was $54.4 million, versus $10.2 million in Q4 2021, equal to stellar growth of 433 per cent or $44.2 million.
Direct written premiums (DWP) were in $4.4 billion 2022, compared with $4.1 billion in 2021. This represents growth of 7.3 per cent or nearly $301 million year-over-year.
“The increase was seen across all lines of business and geographic regions and was driven by higher average premiums across all lines of business, and policy growth in commercial and farm,” Co-operators says.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, the 7.3 per cent upswing mirrored that of the full year. DWP were $1.11 billion, compared with $1.03 billion in Q4 2021. This amounts to an increase of $76 million.
The company attributes these gains to higher average home insurance premiums, along with more robust policy growth and larger numbers of policies in force in commercial lines.
Co-operators reported net investment income and gains of $114.4 million in 2022, compared with $237.9 million in 2021. The corresponding decrease is 52 per cent or $123.5 million.
The drop is attributed to “unrealized losses on preferred shares due to deterioration in preferred share market valuations, combined with higher realized losses on bonds due to rising interest rates. These were partially offset by higher investment income when compared to the prior year also a result of higher interest rates,” the release points out.
Net investment income and gains in the fourth quarter of 2022 totalled $51.3 million, up 15 per cent or $6.8 million from the $44.5 million reported in Q4 2021.
Co-operators CEO Rob Wesseling says that the company has been able to maintain its momentum despite the economic uncertainty. “Our performance has helped our balance sheet and capital position remain strong and enables us to stay focused on creating value for our members and clients while continuing to invest in our communities and programs to drive a more sustainable future for all Canadians,” he points out.