ICBC reports year-end results

Investment returns and drop in claims frequency tell 2009's story

VANCOUVER, April 15 /CNW/ - ICBC's 2009 year-end financial results are reflective of a strong performance from its investment portfolio, fewer claims and a focus on controlling costs.

"We are continuing to manage our business and investment portfolio well," said Jon Schubert, ICBC's President and CEO. "This has put us in a position to protect our customers against unexpected events and volatile rates, and to make much-needed reinvestments in our business."

ICBC's net income for 2009 was $563 million, up from $497 million for 2008. Its investment portfolio made a strong contribution, with returns rising to $532 million in 2009 from $280 million in 2008. This is reflective of a well-managed and diversified portfolio.

Claims and related costs did increase - to $2.97 billion in 2009 from $2.82 billion in 2008 - but were still lower than expected due to our customers making smart driving decisions, improved claims-handling procedures, good weather, fewer claims and investments in road safety and auto crime prevention.

"In 2008 we saw a very positive claims picture, and 2009 was a good year too," said Schubert. "We thank our customers for driving safely, which continues to contribute to the number and total cost of injury claims coming down. This has helped us to keep our rates low and stable over the last five years and early indications are this will continue in 2010."

The economy has had an effect on new insurance policies, with a moderation in the growth of premiums written - $3.67 billion in 2009 compared to $3.64 billion in 2008. Operating costs remain low and prudently managed.

ICBC's capital levels are strong, which is vital for any insurance company, and will remain so going forward. Government's recent direction on the way surplus optional capital is managed at ICBC ensures enough money remains in the company to meet its regulatory requirements, protect customers and to reinvest in the business.

Going forward, ICBC will be reinvesting in its business for the benefit of its customers. This multi-year investment will focus on improving the customer's experience and upgrading ICBC's technology systems to increase efficiency.

Note: ICBC's Statement of Operations for the 12 months ending December 31, 2009, accompanies this news release and is available at: www.icbc.com/about%20ICBC/news_room/2009news_releases/may_09#4

SOURCE ICBC

For further information: For further information: Adam Grossman, (604) 982-1332

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ICBC

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INSURANCE CORPORATION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

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