Northbridge Financial Corporation has reached new heights.

The Canadian property and casualty insurance group, which includes Northbridge AssuranceFederated and TruShield, reported an underwriting profit of Cdn$66.7 million in the first quarter of 2021.

This figure is 330.3 per cent or Cdn$51.2 million higher than that of Q1 2020, when it was Cdn$15.5 million.

Northbridge's combined ratio improved by 9.5 points, from 96.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 to 87 per cent in Q1 2021.

Parent company Fairfax Financial attributes the increase principally to “lower current accident year attritional loss experience (across most lines of business) as a result of reduced claims frequency due to COVID-19.” It also reflects the milder winter, as well as “continued rate increases."

However, these elements were "partially offset by higher net adverse prior year reserve development.”

Higher premiums  

Northbridge's gross written premiums reached Cdn$519 million in the first quarter of 2021, compared with Cdn$463 million in Q1 2020. This increase of 12.1 per cent or Cdn$56 million reflects "new business, strong retention of renewal business and rate increases,” Fairfax points out.

Net premiums written advanced by 14.1 per cent or Cdn$58.7 million, and net premiums earned soared by 14.7 per cent or Cdn$66 million.

Operating income also skyrockets 

Northbridge's operating income was Cdn$83.2 million in the first quarter of 2021, compared with Cdn$26.2 million in Q1 2020. The corresponding increase is 217.6 per cent or Cdn$57 million.

Fairfax Financial reported consolidated net income of US$806 million in the first quarter of 2021. This growth amounts to an increase of US$2.1 billion from the US$1.3 billion net loss reported in Q1 2020.

This increase "principally reflected net gains on investments, and higher operating income at the insurance and reinsurance operations,” the international holding company says.

Northbridge’s net income is not available because Fairfax does not disclose its consolidated net income in detail.