Simply stated, the year 2001 was the worst year on record for the insurance industry.
While the event of September 11 captured the most headlines, the impact of that day on Canadian
insurance industry 2001 results is not the number one story. No doubt the terrorist attack was catastrophic on
a human scale, and had a significant impact on US and worldwide insurance and reinsurance results. The numerous
direct effects on coverage and pricing in Canada are well documented, however in many cases the impact of
September 11 is much less direct. The changes happening in many lines of business were inevitable; the effect of
September 11 has been to speed up the their timing and degree. Cumulative years of soft market conditions, low
interest rates, fewer realized capital gains, and deterioration of loss reserves have all combined to produce the
lowest return on equity ever recorded for the Canadian insurance industry – now estimated at 3 percent. The
March issue of Swiss Re in Canada’s monthly technical newsletter review looks at the state of the reinsurance
market at last renewal, and includes forward-looking commentary on 2002 and beyond.
Included in the “review” is “recap,” a synopsis of current insurance-related
news both in Canada and around the world. “recap” includes information on such areas as “Mergers,
acquisitions and industry updates,” “Liability, court awards and settlements,” “Accidents
and natural catastrophes,” plus other notable industry developments.
Swiss Re March newsletter.