Co-operators General Insurance Company posted net income of $47.2 million for the first quarter of 2024.

For the same period in 2023, the insurer reported net income of $23.2 million. This is a 103 per cent increase over a 12-month period.

Commenting on the results, Co-operators President and CEO Rob Wesseling stated that “strong premium growth is being offset by increasing claims resulting in an underwriting loss."

Positive investment results are enabling the company to bolster its financial performance and its balance sheet remains strong, added Wesseling.

Cooperators General showed an underwriting loss of $69.2 million in the first quarter of 2024, compared with a loss of $34 million in the same quarter of 2023.

Combined ratio  

Co-operators General's combined loss ratio for the first quarter of 2024 was 106.2 per cent, compared with 103.3 per cent for the same period of 2023. This result excludes discounting and risk adjustment.

The loss ratio, excluding discounting and risk adjustment, slipped by 5.1 points to 73 per cent in the last quarter. It stood at 67.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2023.

This decline is largely attributable to auto insurance. The loss ratio for this segment was 94.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2024, down 13.2 points compared to the same period last year. Auto insurance accounted for 44 per cent of the insurer's total premium volume as at March 31, 2024.

The company points out that undiscounted net claims costs and adjustment expenses increased by $129 million year-over-year to $820 million in the first quarter of 2024. Higher frequency and major claims explain this increase.

Direct premiums  

Direct written premiums (DWP) in the first quarter of 2024 totalled $1.1 billion, up $125 million or 13 per cent over the same quarter of 2023.

This premium growth was observed across all lines of business and regions, but was most pronounced in auto insurance, where premiums climbed 21 per cent year-over-year.

According to the company's management report, growth in DWP was also well distributed across all regions of the country, but it was in Ontario that volume growth was most marked year-over-year, at more than 16 per cent.

Ontario is the company’s largest market, accounting for 51 per cent of Co-operators General’s premium volume in the first quarter of 2024. This is followed by the Western provinces (35 per cent), the Atlantic provinces (9 per cent) and Quebec.

This growth was the result of higher average premiums and growth in the number of policies due to both higher retention and new business, the company noted.

Investment income  

Co-operators General reported net investment income and gains of $105.6 million in the first quarter of 2024, compared with $103.3 million in the same quarter of 2023.

The increase is attributable to net gains on its equity portfolio, unrealized gains on limited partnerships and higher interest income. These favorable movements were partially offset by unrealized bond losses and lower dividend income.