Intact Financial Corp, Canada’s largest property and casualty insurer, reported a 20 per cent fall in quarterly operating profit, reflecting a decrease in underwriting income.

The company also said it would increase its quarterly dividend by 6 cents to 64 cents per share.

Overall underwriting income decreased 30.8 per cent to US$153 million in the quarter.

Intact reported an underwriting loss of US$9 million from its personal auto insurance business, compared with an income of US$28 million last year, largely due to an increase in weather-related claims.

The company’s combined ratio rose to 92.5 per cent from 88.6 per cent a year earlier, hurt by weak results in its personal auto insurance business.

A ratio below 100 per cent means an insurer earns more in premiums than it pays out in claims.

The company’s net operating income fell to $212 million, or $1.58 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $265 million, or $1.97 per share, a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected net operating income per share of $1.75 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

© Thomson Reuters 2017