Catastrophic loss estimates from recent disasters across Canada have begun to roll in, but the country's largest personal and commercial insurer is expected to weather the crisis aftermath well, according to one analyst.
Intact Financial Corp. has released an early assessment of damages from the flooding in Calgary and the Greater Toronto Area, and the train derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Que. Total losses are expected to hit $257-million over two quarters.
The impact of those claims payments is "neutral," according to CIBC World markets analyst Paul Holden. He said losses were in line with his initial estimates, with the exception of the GTA, which was a little higher than forecast.
"The stock was trading over $60 before any of these events transpired and there is no impact to our earnings per share estimates beyond the third quarter of 2013 related to these events," he said in a note to clients this morning. (Intact shares were trading up slightly to about $58 on Monday.)
Intact said investors should expect after-tax catastrophe losses of $123-million in its upcoming second-quarter results. And then the early July disasters will add another $134-million in after-tax expense to the third quarter earnings. Both figures are net of reinsurance.
"Uncertainty related to the magnitude of losses, which represented an overhang for the stock, is now removed," Mr. Holden said.
But as the frequency and severity of these weather disasters increase, insurers are starting to rethink how they provide coverage and what changes regulators could call for in the future.
Intact chief executive officer Charles Brindamour said the events served as a "stark reminder that we must adapt the protection offered to Canadians to ensure it remains sustainable."
Last week, Intact spokesperson Gilles Gratton said in a statement that it will be "important to achieve a greater level co-ordination and co-operation between governments and insurers..." The company wants to better identify preventive measures and improve the way they deliver protection to customers.
Other insurers have also been posting their initial assessments of claims costs to calm analysts and investors ahead of the upcoming earning season.
In early July, Canada's third largest personal and commercial insurer, RSA Canada, released a preliminary estimate of $75-million in net claims from flooding in Alberta.