Aviva Canada grows market position as Canadian insurers look south

Published: September 4, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Canadian property and casualty insurance carriers are increasingly making in-roads into the United States with investments and acquisitions south of the border. In a new report, A.M. Best Company Inc. also announced that Aviva Canada has moved to become the second biggest P&C provider in Canada.

“Anecdotal and statistical market data for the past 18 months indicates growing interest among Canadian P/C insurers in the U.S. market,” the ratings company said in its special report, Canadian Property/Casualty and Life Remain Stable as Economy Rebounds, While Housing Market Bears Watching.

Over 18 months, “Canadian investment in the U.S. market, either directly (i.e., by acquiring a U.S. operation or creating a new entity) or indirectly (i.e., by acquiring an international organization with significant operations in the U.S.), exceeded the level of investment in previous years,” Oldwick, N.J.-based A.M. Best said in its report on the Canadian industry. “Most notably, Intact’s announced acquisition of OneBeacon was driven by Intact’s explicit intent to expand into the U.S. market.”

Intact Financial Corp. (Canada’s biggest P&C) acquired Minnesota-based OneBeacon for US$2.3 million in May. Many other Canadian carriers are either acquiring businesses or expanding existing operations in the USA.

Aviva Gains

A.M. Best reports Intact remained the largest carrier in Canada by market share, with $8.3 billion in direct premiums written. Aviva Canada moved to second position with $5.1 billion, replacing Desjardins, which dropped to third with $4.5 billion. TD was ranked fourth in the report with $3.0 billion in direct premiums written.

The Co-operators, Wawanesa, and Lloyds took the next positions with $2.8 billion, followed by Economical in ninth with $2.1 billion and Travelers with $1.5 billion.