Intact Financial Corporation has surpassed $1 billion on several levels in 2020, for the first time.
First, it reported net income of $1.1 G for the full year, up from $754 million in 2019. It leaped by 43.5% or $328 million.
For fourth quarter 2020 alone, net income was $378 million. The increase amounts to 57.5% or $138 million compared with $240 million in Q4 2019.
Combined ratio below 90%
Intact reports a combined ratio of 89.1% for 2020, for all its activities. This ratio improved by 6.3 points from the combined ratio for 2019, which was 95.4%. This combined ratio takes into account the catastrophe losses arising from COVID-19, which affected it by 0.9 points.
Looking at the results in detail:
- Canada: The combined ratio improved by 7.9 points in 2020, to reach 88%.
- United States: The combined ratio reached 94.9% in 2020. It rose by 1.7 points.
In Q4 2020 alone, Intact improved its combined ratio by 5.9 points. The combined ratio was 85.6 % compared with 91.5% in fourth quarter 2019. It “includes $74 million in catastrophe-related losses, with $23 million related to the COVID-19 crisis,” Intact says.
Upon closer inspection:
- Canada: The combined ratio improved by 8 percentage points in fourth quarter 2020 to 84%, reflecting "strong underlying performance across all lines.”
- United States: The combined ratio reached 92% in Q4 2020. It deteriorated by 3.2 percentage points, reflecting “strong underlying performance, offset by unfavorable prior year development and higher weather-related losses.”
Operating income also passed the milestone...
Intact's net operating income also exceeded $1 billion in 2020. It was $1.5 billion, up from $905 million in 2019. The corresponding increase is 62.5% or $566 million.
For fourth quarter 2020 alone, Intact's net operating income was $467 million, up from $303 million in Q4 2019. This increase of 54.1% or $164 million is notably explained by “strong growth in net underwriting income,” Intact says.
... as did net underwriting income
In fact, net underwriting income reached $1.2 billion in 2020, up considerably from $465 million in 2019. It soared by 163.9% or $762 million, which propelled it beyond $1 billion.
For Q4 2020 alone, Intact reports net underwriting income of $415 million, versus $229 million in 2019. The increase amounts to 81.2% or $186 million.
A closer look at the figures shows that Canada was the main growth engine:
- Canada: Net underwriting income reached $1.1 G in 2020, compared with $363 million in 2019. The increase amounts to 217.9 % or $791 million. It was $392 million in Q4 2020, versus $184 million in the same quarter of 2019, for an increase of 113% or $208 million.
- United States: Net underwriting income slumped by 16.5% or $16 million in 2020, to $81 million, compared with $97 million in 2019. In Q4 2020 alone, it fell by $9 million.
- Head office and other: Intact reported a net underwriting loss of $8 million in 2020, versus net underwriting income of $5 million in 2019, down from $13 million. This income also declined by $13 million in Q4 2020 alone.
Premiums: 9% increase in 2020
For all of its activities, Intact reports direct premiums writtenof $12 billion in 2020, up from $11 billion in 2019. It thus achieved an increase of 9% or $990 million.
Premiums climbed to $2.9 billion in Q4 2020, equal to an increase of 7.6% or $202 million.
Premiums advanced in both the U.S. and Canada.
Premiums in Canada
For the year 2020 overall, direct written premiums were $10.2 billion, compared with $9.4 billion in 2019. They thus increased by 8.7% or $817 million.
Specifically, premiums climbed by 6.3% in personal car insurance, 10.4% in personal property insurance and 10.4% in commercial lines.
In fourth quarter 2020 alone, direct written premiums totalled $2.5 billion, for an increase of 6.1% or $143 million, "driven by market conditions and unit growth.”
Specifically, direct premiums advanced by 4.6% in personal auto insurance, owing to "solid unit growth,” 10.1% in personal property insurance, attributable to “solid unit growth, market conditions and The Guarantee acquisition,” and 5.2% in commercial lines, explained by "market conditions and the benefit of The Guarantee acquisition, all offset by a 6-point decrease attributable to the targeted customer relief program and lower volumes related to the sharing economy.
Premiums in the United States
Direct written premiums were $1.8 billion in 2020, up from $1.6 billion in 2019, representing an increase of 10.5% or $173 million.
These premiums stood at $401 million in Q4 2020. This increase of 17.2$ or $59 million is explained by "hard market conditions and strong new business growth and retention.”
Intact reported an increase in net investment income. Net investment income was $577 million in 2020, versus $576 million in 2019.
This income was $143 million in Q4 2020, compared with $142 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.
COVID-19 and RSA
"Our COVID-19 related relief has helped more than 1.2 million customers, with $530 million of support provided in 2020,” Intact says.
The insurer also points out that the RSA acquisition should be completed in the second quarter of 2021. "The RSA transition and integration planning are progressing well and provide increased confidence in the strategic and financial merits of the transaction,” says Charles Brindamour, Intact's Chief Executive Officer.
Intact's debt-to-total-capital ratio was 24.1% as of December 31, 2020, versus 21.2% as of September 30, 2020. The $600 million in medium-term notes issued to fund the acquisition of RSA had affected the ratio by 3.8 points. “We expect the leverage ratio to be 26% at closing of the RSA acquisition and return to 20% within 36 months following closing," the insurer says.