Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Intact Has Third-Quarter Loss on Storm Claims

intact insurance

Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Intact Financial Corp., Canada’s largest property and casualty insurer, had a net loss of C$8 million ($7.6 million) on higher claims for storm damage on homes.

The third-quarter loss of 7 cents a share compares with profit of C$57.3 million, or 47 cents, a year earlier, the Toronto-based insurer said today in a statement.

Intact, which until May was controlled by Dutch bank ING Groep NV, said it had an underwriting loss of C$53.2 million, compared with a year-earlier profit. The insurer said last month that earnings would be lowered by C$115 million before tax due to “severe weather events” that led to higher claims in Alberta and central Canada.

Before one-time items, Intact said it earned 18 cents a share, topping the 11 cent-a-share median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Direct premiums rose 4 percent to C$1.14 billion in the quarter. Intact reported higher average premiums “as industry pricing continued to firm up, primarily in Ontario.”

Intact said it expects home insurance premiums to rise on higher water-related damage claims. Car insurance rates may climb on increased medical costs, the company said.

Intact rose 20 cents to C$35.63 in 9:31 a.m. trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The shares have risen 13 percent this year.

(Intact will hold a conference call at 10 a.m. Toronto time. To listen, dial +1-416-644-3426 or +1-800-732-1073)