UPDATE 2-Intact sees insurance-rate hikes as Canada floods hit profit

Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:26pm EDT
 
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* Insurer takes C$105 million hit from Alberta floods

* Operating income beats analysts' estimate

* Shares rise as much as 5 pct

* Insurer to raise rates to reflect cost of catastrophes (Recasts with details from interview with CEO)

By Cameron French

TORONTO, July 31 (Reuters) - Canadian insurer Intact Financial Corp reported a stronger-than-expected profit on Wednesday, driving its shares as much as 5 percent higher, while its CEO said home insurance rates would have to rise after a series of costly disasters.

Intact's net profit in the second quarter was cut by a C$105 million ($102 million) charge due to floods that hit Alberta in June. The company has warned that a flood in Toronto and a deadly train derailment in Quebec earlier this month would carve an additional C$134 million from profit in the third quarter.

"We're seeing catastrophes come in different forms, in greater quantity, in greater intensity across the nation," Intact Chief Executive Charles Brindamour told Reuters in an interview.

The Alberta flood last month shut down the oil industry capital of Calgary, displacing more than 100,000 people and cutting off power for days.   Continued...