Mr Stephen Oduro, Managing Director (MD) of SIC Insurance Company Limited, has said the insurance industry in Ghana continued to grapple with challenges such as penetration and fierce competition among players.
He said in spite of the volatility of the insurance market, SIC Insurance mobilized an amount of GH¢161,929,753.00 as gross premium income in 2017, showing a marginal growth of 1.13 per cent over previous year’s premium of GH¢160,111,229.
He said, the net premium after Reinsurance, increased by 4.3 per cent from GH¢94,706,531.00 in 2016 to GH¢98,815,050.00 in 2017.
Mr Oduro, stated this at the Eleventh Annual General Meeting of the SIC Insurance in Accra, which received and considered the Accounts of the Company for the year ended December 31, 2017, together with the Reports of the Directors and the Auditors.
The SIC Insurance AGM, also fixed the remuneration of the Auditors; and re-elected retiring Directors and approved Directors’ remuneration.
On claims payment, Mr Oduro noted that, even though there were no exceptional claims, claims incurred grew by about 123 per cent from GH¢17,247,719.00 in 2016 to GH¢38,491,870.00 in 2017, an indication of the company’s unquestionable claims paying abilities.
He said, management expenses increased by 19.12 per cent from GH¢62,176,479.00 in 2016 to GH¢74,000,788.00 in 2017, but the Company’s Underwriting margins, reduced from GH¢11,266,836.00 in 2016 to GH¢7,266,598.00 in 2017.
Francis Ameyibor of Ghana News Agency (GNA) reports that, the SIC boss, assured shareholders that Board and Management, would continue to work hard towards positive figures in future.
The SIC Insurance MD, said investment income showed a decline of about 20.21 per cent; from GH¢14,584,564.00 in 2016 to GH¢11,637,483.00 in 2017.
He attributed the decline to the falling interest rate regime in the economy, and that, Management has put in measures to manage company investments well to realize enhanced yields.
Mr Oduro, said profit before tax was GH¢17,398,901.00 against GH¢17,161,252.00 in 2016. “We recorded GH¢3,385,500.00 as impairment on investment in 2017 with no exceptional claim as against the GH¢10,601,830.00 recorded 2016.
Tax expense (corporate tax and National Fiscal Stabilization Levy) increased from GH¢1,144,438.00 in 2016 to GH¢2,655,712.00 in 2017 and Profit After Tax (PAT) for the company grew by about 109 per cent from GH¢5,414,984.00 in 2016 to GH¢11,357,689.00 in 2017.
He said, Motor portfolio declined by 2.7 per cent from GH¢63.56 million in 2016 to GH¢61.88 million in 2017; the portfolio continues to be the highest contributor to the Gross Premium Income; contributing 38.22 per cent in 2017 and 42.1 per cent in 2016.
Mr Oduro said in 2017 the Fire portfolio declined by 7 per cent moving from a premium contribution of GH¢52.76 million in 2016 to GH¢49.27 million in 2017, representing 30.43 per cent of overall premium contribution in 2017 against 34.9 per cent in 2016.
On General Accident, the portfolio recorded a 5 per cent increment over previous year, moving from GH¢34.41 million in 2016 to GH¢36.14 million in 2017, representing a 22.32 per cent of overall premium mobilization in 2017 against 17 per cent in 2016.
The Marine and Aviation portfolio recorded a remarkable 56 per cent increment from GH¢9.37 million in 2016 to GH¢14.63 million in 2017, thus improving its overall contribution to gross premium by over 9 per cent in 2017 against a percentage contribution of 6 per cent in 2016.
The SIC Insurance MD said “the company shall focus on the things that really matter, “put the customer at the heart of everything we do and provide clear direction across all our markets and industry dominated by complexity.
“It is very clear that the future is tied to technology and innovation. Your company is addressing the cultural and organizational obstacles within that prevent us from achieving this new way of doing business.
“We are engaging with key partners to provide the needed technical support on our digitization journey to enable us to maximize convenience for customers and deliver the expected returns for you,” he said.
Mr Oduro said SIC Insurance management has put in place new structures and measures to deepen engagements and relationship with customers as well as help branches retain a greater percentage of existing businesses and attract new ones.
“Digitization is shifting the expectations of consumers and therefore making our customers more sophisticated with a desire to be much more in control, expecting self-service and simpler, faster access to their insurance products and services with no more than one or two clicks.
“Plans are far advanced to meet the ever changing expectations of our consumers and to make our internal processes more efficient through the use of technology.
“This, we believe, is how we will capitalize on being a customer focused insurer whiles delivering value to you our cherished shareholders,” he said.
The MD said the Company intends to adopt the aggressive marketing approach to doing business, in this regard “we have embarked on capacity building programmes, which are aimed at equipping our sales force and every staff with the requisite skills to win back all our lost businesses and signing on new ones.
“Doing business is rapidly changing and the company has no intention of being left behind. We know it’s about time we change, else we fail. Your company plans to explore to introduce some innovation, not only in the way we do business,but also in the distributions channels”.