Industry Leading Growth for RSA Canada in 2013

11 per cent growth, results impacted by severe weather events throughout year

TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Leading home, car and business insurer RSA Canada reported industry leading growth of 11 per cent to net written premiums of $2,826m, benefiting from the acquisition of L'Union Canadienne. However, bottom line results were impacted by three significant catastrophic weather events, as well as an increase in overall weather activity resulting in a combined operating ratio (COR) of 99.3%, compared to 93.6% in 2012.

"While 2013 was a record year for severe weather in Canada, our core business remains strong," says Rowan Saunders, President & CEO of RSA Canada. "The severe weather may have negatively impacted results, but I am extremely proud of the exceptional support we provided to customers and brokers from coast to coast."

Personal lines premiums were up 11% to $1,921m, including a 7-point benefit from the L'Union Canadienne (UC) acquisition. Growth in Personal lines of 4% was driven by Household, with rate increases across most provinces and strong growth in the Western region.   

In Commercial Lines, premiums were up 9% to $905m, primarily driven by large corporate accounts and Global Specialty Lines (GSL). Commercial market remains very competitive with soft pricing conditions.

The underwriting result of $16m was impacted by severe weather, including the floods in Alberta and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which were the first and third most costly weather events in Canadian history, as well as by the ice storms that hit the GTA in December. These events resulted in $286 m of insured losses resulting in net losses of $151m. Excluding the impact of adverse weather, the combined ratio was 94.5% reflecting a continued strong performance and an improving operating expense ratio.

"In 2013 we supported our customers through an unprecedented number of severe weather events," continued Saunders. "In 2014, I expect our COR to return to the mid- low 90s, to see growth in line with the market and to continue providing the best service to our customers and brokers."

Notes to editors

To see RSA Group's release and a video, click here.

All figures shown are presented in UK IFRS basis.

About RSA Canada
RSA Canada includes Roins Financial Services Limited, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, Quebec Assurance Company, Johnson Inc., Western Assurance Company, Ascentus Insurance Ltd., Canadian Northern Shield Insurance Company, RSA Travel Insurance Inc./Assurance Voyage RSA inc., L'Union Canadienne, Compagnie d'assurances,  and is part of the RSA group of companies headed by RSA Insurance Group plc. RSA Canada employs approximately 4,000 people and is represented by a large network of brokers across the country. In 2012, the Canadian Group wrote $3bn in direct premiums with assets exceeding $8 billion. RSA is a trade name of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada. "RSA" and the RSA logo are trademarks used under license from RSA Insurance Group plc.

Important Disclaimer
This press release may contain 'forward-looking statements' with respect to certain of the Group's plans and its current goals and expectations relating to its future financial condition, performance results, strategic initiatives and objectives. Generally, words such as "may", "could", "will", "expect", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "aim", "outlook", "believe", "plan", "seek", "continue" or similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. By their nature, all forward-looking statements are inherently predictive and speculative and involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances which are beyond the Group's control, including amongst other things, UK domestic and global economic business conditions, market-related risks such as fluctuations in interest rates and exchange rates, the policies and actions of regulatory authorities, the impact of competition, inflation, deflation, the timing impact and other uncertainties of future acquisitions or combinations within relevant industries, as well as the impact of tax and other legislation or regulations in the jurisdictions in which the Group and its affiliates operate. As a result, the Group's actual future financial condition, performance and results may differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations set forth in the Group's forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this press release are current only as of the date on which such statements are made. The Group undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, save in respect of any requirement under applicable law or regulation. Nothing in this press release shall be construed as a profit forecast.

SOURCE RSA Canada

For further information: Scott Tabachnick, Director, External Communications, RSA, scott.tabachnick@rsagroup.ca, Direct: 647 776 9403, Cell: 416.625.7854