With more than $4-billion in direct premiums written, Intact Financial is Canada's dominant property and casualty insurer, holding about 11 per cent of the market.
Its next largest competitor, Aviva Canada, has an 8.8-per-cent market share. The top 20 P&C insurers in Canada hold 80 per cent of the market, which Intact CEO Charles Brindamour believes is ripe for consolidation.
About 80 per cent of Intact's insurance products are distributed through brokers, with the rest being sold through call centres and the Internet. It has 7,000 employees and sells products under Intact Insurance, belairdirect (an online channel), and Grey Power (targeting consumers age 50 and older).
Mr. Brindamour says Intact is in good shape to be an acquirer, with $7.8-billion in cash and invested assets, and $635-million in excess capital at the end of September. The company is looking for acquisitions of $500-million or more in terms of direct written premiums.
Intact posted a loss of $8-million in its most recent quarter, down from a profit of $57.3-million a year earlier, as weather caused an unusual amount of property damage. Its stock closed yesterday at $36.63, down 77 cents.