Desjardins General Insurance Group
first quarter results

LÉVIS (QC), May 16, 2017 - Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG), a Desjardins Group subsidiary specializing in property and casualty insurance, today announced its financial results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2017. The net loss for the quarter was $11.4 million, compared to a net income of $31.5 million in the first quarter of 2016. Return on equity (ROE) was -3.3%, down from 5.7% in the same period last year. The combined ratio excluding market yield adjustment (MYA) was 101.6% for the quarter, marginally better than the 101.9% in the same quarter in 2016. 

These results were due to a challenging winter, with damages caused by water and heavy snow in Quebec and a major windstorm in Ontario. Losses caused by those difficult weather conditions were partially offset by favorable development on loss reserves from previous years, a portion of which is owed back to State Farm in connection with the acquisition agreement of its Canadian operations. 

In the quarter, DGIG generated organic growth as the number of policies in force increased by more than 10,000. Direct premiums written were $923.6 million in the quarter, down 11.4% compared to the same period in 2016. This drop in premiums was due predominantly to the impact of the conversion of State Farm auto policies from 6 to 12 months done during the previous year and to rate decreases in Ontario as a result of the Government's June 1, 2016 auto insurance reform. 

"Our hearts go out to the people and communities affected by the recent heavy rains and flooding," said Denis Dubois, DGIG's President and COO. "Our claims teams are mobilized and are working hard to provide quick support to our members and clients to help them recover and move on with their lives." 

Mr. Dubois said that while no single event can be directly traced to climate change, the trend is clear. 

"With global warming, the cost of severe weather just keeps increasing year after year. That's why it is important that insurers continue to work with all levels of government to help protect Canadians and to develop effective, standardized solutions for floods and other weather-related risks," he noted. 

DGIG will also continue to focus on innovation in its efforts to prevent losses and better protect policyholders. For instance, the Alert program launched this past March helps policyholders limit or avoid water damage and the disruption that comes with it. In addition, with the launch of the Desjardins Insurance Home-Auto or The Personal app, Desjardins became the first insurer in Canada to introduce a connected home and auto insurance offer.

Consolidated Financial Results as at March 31, 2017

(In millions of dollars, unless otherwise indicated)


Q1 2017

Q1 2016

Direct premiums written



Underwriting income excluding MYA

Investment income

(excluding gains [losses] on matched bonds)







Net income [Net loss]



Return on equity



Combined ratio excluding MYA



About Desjardins General Insurance Group

A subsidiary of Desjardins Group, Canada's leading cooperative financial group, Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG) is Canada's third largest provider of property and casualty insurance. The company distributes insurance under the Desjardins Insurance, The Personal, and State Farm Canada brands. DGIG is also a leader in Canada in white label distribution.

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Caution concerning forward-looking statements

Certain statements made in this press release may be forward-looking. By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve assumptions, uncertainties and inherent risks, both general and specific. It is therefore possible that, due to many factors, these predictions, forecasts or other forward-looking statements as well as Desjardins Group's objectives and priorities may not materialize or may prove to be inaccurate and that actual results differ materially. Various factors beyond Desjardins Group's control could influence the accuracy of the forward-looking statements in this press release. Although Desjardins Group believes that the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance or guarantee that these expectations will prove to be correct. Desjardins Group cautions readers against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements when making decisions. Desjardins Group does not undertake to update any written or verbal forward-looking statements that could be made from time to time by or on behalf of Desjardins Group, except as required under applicable securities laws.

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