Mr Stephen Oduro, Managing Director of SIC Insurance Company Limited on Wednesday 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 GHC161,929,753.00 as gross premium income in 2017, showing a marginal growth of 1.13 per cent over previous year’s premium of GHC160,111,229.
He said the net premium after Reinsurance increased by 4.3 per cent from GHC94,706,531.00 in 2016 to GHC98,815,050.00 in 2017. Mr Oduro stated 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 31st 2017, together with the Reports of the Directors and the Auditors.
The SIC Insurance AGM, also declared dividend for the year ended; 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 GHC17,247,719.00 in 2016 to GHC38,491,870.00 in 2017, an indication of the company’s unquestionable claims paying abilities.
He said management expenses increased by 19.12 per cent from GHC62,176,479.00 in 2016 to GHC74,000,788.00 in 2017, but the Company's Underwriting margins reduced from GHC11,266,836.00 in 2016 to GHC7,266,598.00 in 2017.
He 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 GHC14,584,564.00 in 2016 to GHC11,637,483.00 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 GHC17,398,901.00 against GHC17,161,252.00 in 2016. “We recorded GHC3,385,500.00 as impairment on investment in 2017 with no exceptional claim as against the GHC10,601,830.00 recorded 2016.
Tax expense (corporate tax and National Fiscal Stabilization Levy) increased from GHC1,144,438.00 in 2016 to GHC2,655,712.00 in 2017 and Profit After Tax (PAT) for the company grew by about 109 per cent from GHC5,414,984.00 in 2016 to GHC11,357,689.00 in 2017.
He said Motor portfolio declined by 2.7 per cent from GHC63.56 million in 2016 to GHC61.88 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 GHC52.76 million in 2016 to GHC49.27 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 GHC34.41 million in 2016 to GHC36.14 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.
Mr Oduro 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”.