RSA Canada sees significant growth in broker business

Personal and commercial business grew in 2017 despite market challenges

Despite challenges facing the P&C market, RSA Canada saw significant growth in its broker business in 2017.

In a conference call on Thursday, Martin Thompson, president and CEO of RSA Canada, shared the insurer’s year-end results with members of the press.

RSA saw net written premiums in Canada increase by 5% last year, and the insurer had a combined ratio of 93.9%, representing a 1% improvement over 2016.

“Overall, for us I think it was a really strong year,” Thompson said. “I think it was a year that we’re incredibly proud of.”

Related: CEO Spotlight: RSA Canada

The broker channel proved to be a strong area of growth for RSA, with the insurer’s personal lines broker business growing by 9% and commercial lines growing by 4%.

“We’ve spent a lot of time and focus over the last few years on trying to improve our delivery to our brokers,” Thompson said. “The feedback we get is we’re winning not because we’re cutting prices, but because we’re becoming better at what we do.”

RSA’s personal lines broker business saw net written premiums total $815 million, although it delivered a break-even result due in large part to challenges faced by the auto insurance market—namely, increases in the frequency of collisions and the cost of repairs.

The commercial lines broker business wrote $834 million in premiums and delivered an underwriting profit of $38 million and a combined ratio of 95.4%, which Thompson described as a “significant improvement” over 2016 results.

“We’ll target further improvement based on that, but I think what was pleasing was that we delivered a number like that, despite having a slightly worse-than-expected year on large losses,” he said.

Thompson said RSA plans to continue investing in its broker channel in the year ahead.

“Our focus is really going to be about delivering for our brokers and making sure we are continuing to become an even better company to do business with,” he said.

RSA deployed GuideWire’s ClaimCenter claims management system last year, which is now handling all new claims throughout its broker business. The insurer also launched RSAPro—which allows brokers to quote and bind SME clients online—in late 2017, and plans to continue expanding its rollout.

“We’re up over 1,200 users now in terms of people active on the platform,” Thompson said of RSAPro. “We’re looking to get up to about 4,000 users by the time we’ve finished the program.”

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Transcontinental Media G.P.