Suzanne Sharma
Top 20 liability insurers | Canadian Insurance

Top 20 liability insurers

Pricing to go up in order to balance inflation, says Catlin Canada, syndicate of #1 insurer Lloyd's.

Lloyd’s lands the #1 spot in Canadian Insurance Top Broker’s list of top 20 liability insurers based on net written premiums in 2010 (see full list below). These results are featured in the Canadian Insurance Top Broker 2011 Annual Statistical Issue, now available. For more information on the Annual Statistical Issue, click here.

Canadian Insurance Top Broker spoke to executives at Catlin Canada, which is the largest syndicate of #1 insurer, Lloyd’s, about what ongoing trends are challenging this market. David Huebel, chief underwriting officer and Greg Goff, casualty SVP, stated the competitive environment due to new capacity, as well as the rising cost of inflation was a concern.

Q. What are some of the challenges in liability insurance in Canada right now?

A. We’re in the 8th year of a continuing softening market cycle. Canada is emerging a little ahead of the world out of a recession. This is a bit of help, but at the same time we have a lot of new capacity in Canada. For example, in E&O a dozen years ago there were maybe a dozen companies placing this product but we did a survey recently and now there’s about 40. Also, a lot of reciprocals have been formed, such as hospitals, municipalities, schools, and in this softening cycle many companies are trying to bring back that lost capacity.

It’s extremely competitive. There used to be a bit of order and a broker would understand that a specific risk would go to a specific carrier, but the lines are being muddied. It seems that anybody can write anything. Brokers aren’t sure who will write what so they are marketing extensively. Also, in this soft market there is no flexibility in price so brokers will try to expand on terms.

Q. What can the industry expect from this market during the next year?

A. One of the things we have to factor in with liability is inflation cost and the cost of claims going up. It takes years to settle a claim so legal fees go up, as well as all the costs associated with this business. We don’t think that’s adequately affected in pricing. Basically, pricing is going down and inflation and costs are going up, so at some point it will have to turn the other way.

The other thing that’s driving the market is the catastrophic events around the world. We’re seeing in some lines of business rates are going up a bit and that will impact casualty as well. We expect to see a trend to increasing pricing.

Q. Can you provide some tips for broker placing this product?

A. Send us completed applications. A lot of the liability business is written on revenue so brokers could do a better job of having some of that information beforehand. We see a lot of times that it’s a struggle (not necessarily the broker’s fault), but we could work on how to get that timely information for renewals, which will benefit everybody.

Here are the top 20 liability insurers (based on net written premiums in 2010).

  1. Lloyd’s ($757,106)
  2. Aviva Canada Inc ($320,098)
  3. Intact Financial ($297,011)
  4. Chartis Insurance of Canada ($278,632)
  5. AXA Canada ($221,651)
  6. Chubb Insurance of Canada ($213,555)
  7. Zurich Insurance ($213,024)
  8. Northbridge Financial ($193,823)
  9. Co-operators Group ($178,700)
  10. Economical Insurance Group ($141,730)
  11. CNA Canada ($133492)
  12. RSA Canada Group ($114,556)
  13. Travelers Canada ($94,819)
  14. Lawyers Professional Indemnity ($93,713)
  15. GCAN Insurance ($90,942)
  16. ACE INA Insurance ($90,210)
  17. Dominion of Canada ($79,991)
  18. Temple Insurance ($78,699)
  19. XL Insurance Co ($66,485)
  20. Motors Insurance ($59,451)

*all figures for net written premiums are $,000