Desjardins General Insurance Group Records 20th Straight Year with Underwriting Profit in 2012

  • Growth in direct written premiums of 8.2%
  • Net income of $185.9 million
  • 20th consecutive year generating an underwriting profit

LÉVIS, QC, March 14, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - For the year ended December 31, 2012, Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG), a Desjardins Group subsidiary specializing in property and casualty insurance, posted a net income of $185.9 million, compared to $128.2 million in 2011.

Direct written premiums increased by 8.2% to $1,980.2 million, entirely through organic growth, and the number of policies in force surpassed 2.1 million.  All business areas contributed to this growth - mass market home and auto insurance, group insurance, white label partnerships, and commercial lines (in Quebec only).

The combined ratio improved by 4.3 percentage points to 94.3%, compared to 98.6% in 2011. This was largely due to the 4.0 percentage point improvement in loss ratio.

Return on equity (ROE) was 20.9%, up from 17.4% in 2011.

Even if Ontario AB/BI claims remain a concern, DGIG's Ontario results did improve with the Ontario Government's auto insurance reforms.

Ms. Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Desjardins Group and CEO of DGIG, said that DGIG continues to be an important contributor to Desjardins' growth and success.  "I congratulate DGIG on 20 straight years generating an underwriting profit, which is a remarkable achievement within a cyclical industry like P&C insurance. The discipline required to achieve this level of consistent results is a strong foundation to build upon as Desjardins continues to expand its insurance business across the country. "

Ms. Sylvie Paquette, President and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins General Insurance Group, said that 2012 was a very positive year both in terms of growth and profitability.  "It was an excellent year for DGIG. We grew at roughly twice the industry rate for the third straight year, and we increased our market share in Ontario and Alberta, and strengthened our position in Quebec. Because of our disciplined approach, we were able to achieve this growth while also maintaining a high level of profitability.

"Looking forward, our focus will be on improving the customer experience, as we feel this will be an important differentiator in an increasingly competitive marketplace," she added.

In terms of industry outlook, Ms. Paquette sees some challenges on the horizon with the continuing low interest rate environment, the uncertainties in the Ontario auto insurance market, and the consolidation trend in the industry.

"Despite these challenges, we are confident going forward that because of the strength of our direct distribution model, DGIG will outperform the industry in terms of growth, profitability, and the customer experience," she said.

About Desjardins General insurance Group

A subsidiary of Desjardins Group, Desjardins General Insurance Group provides home and auto insurance to consumers across the country and commercial insurance to businesses in Quebec.  With 3,700 employees across Canada, a portfolio of more than 2.1 million policies in force, gross written premiums of $2.0 billion and assets of over $4.3 billion, DGIG ranks among the largest P&C insurers in Canada.

SOURCE: Desjardins General Insurance

For further information:

(for journalists only)

Sarah Twomey
Media Relations
Desjardins Group
416-926-2700 or 1-877-906-5551, ext. 2015

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Desjardins General Insurance

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