Desjardins General Insurance Group reports first quarter results

  • Growth in direct written premiums of 6.1%
  • Net income of $25.4 million
  • Return on equity (ROE) of 10.9%

LÉVIS, QC, May 23, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - For the first three months ended March 31, 2013, Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG), a Desjardins Group subsidiary specializing in property and casualty insurance, posted a net income of $25.4 million. This was down 59.2% compared with the first quarter in 2012, which benefited from unusually favourable weather across the country.

Direct written premiums increased by 6.1% to $482.4 million compared to $454.7 million in Q1 2012. This above market result was achieved entirely through organic growth, with all business areas contributing - mass market home and auto insurance, group insurance, white label partnerships, and commercial lines. The combined ratio in the quarter was 99.8%, 10.9 percentage points higher than in Q1 2012, while the return on equity was 10.9%.

Ms. Sylvie Paquette, President and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins General Insurance Group, said that despite the unfavourable comparison with 2012, the first quarter in 2013 was positive both in terms of growth and profitability.

"This was a more typical quarter compared to Q1 last year, as we actually had winter this year," she said. "Overall it was a good quarter. Although our growth in sales has slowed, we remain optimistic that we will continue to increase our market share through the rest of the year. We are increasing our marketing activities and planning other initiatives to improve sales, including an extensive launch a few days ago of the first widely-available usage based insurance pricing programs (UBIP) in the Quebec and Ontario markets. We are confident that our leadership with UBIP will have a significant impact on our growth and profitability."

Looking to the future, Ms. Paquette said that DGIG is closely monitoring the Ontario government's proposed decrease in auto insurance rates.

"We understand the desire to reduce the cost of auto insurance in Ontario, but any reduction in rates must be offset by corresponding measures to reduce claims costs. All indications from the government are that they understand this reality and will act prudently," she said.

Ms. Paquette noted that DGIG's Ajusto and Intelauto UBIP programs are aligned with the government's stated desire to see better insurance rates offered to good drivers in the province.

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 over 3,700 employees across Canada, a portfolio of more than 2.1 million policies in force, gross written premiums of more than $2.0 billion and assets of over $4.4 billion, DGIG ranks among the largest P&C insurers in Canada.

SOURCE: Desjardins Groupe d'assurances générales

For further information:

Source (for journalists only):
Sarah Twomey 
Media Relations Advisor
Desjardins Group
416-926-2700 or 1-877-906-5551, ext. 2015

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Desjardins Groupe d'assurances générales

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