Life assurers’ gross premiums grow 4%

ZIMBABWE’S life assurance industry gross premiums grew by 4% to $272 million in the third quarter of 2017, a report by the Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec) has shown.

In the comparable period in 2016, gross premiums were $257 million.

According to Ipec’s life assurance sector report for the third quarter of 2017, life assurers accounted for $266 million of the gross premiums up 4% from the $257 million written in the same period in 2016.

“The majority of life assurance institutions are compliant with the minimum capital requirements and prescribed asset status. The remaining non-compliant assurers are instituting various measures towards compliance,” Ipec said.

During the period under review, total assets for life assurers and life reassurance surged by 80% to $2,8 billion from $1,5 billion in the same period in 2016.

“The life assurance sector’s average prudential liquidity ratio was 433% as at September 30, 2017. The ratio implies that the industry has sufficient assets to meet claims when they fall due. The industry also recorded a capital to liability ratio of 181% in the current reporting period giving a growth of 113% largely as a result of the increase in money markets,” Ipec said.

Investments in prescribed assets for both life assurance companies and life reassurers rose by 33% as at September 30.

“Claims age statistics showed that some players reported claims in excess of 121 days whilst the majority had outstanding claims aged in excess of 30 days. The commission expects players to pay legitimate claims on time and as per the policy conditions,” it said.

For the quarter under review, total costs were down to $223 million from the $246 million realised in the same period in 2016.

The costs consisted of total net claims of $142 million, management and administration expenses of $68 million and commissions of $13 million.

Nine of the 11 life assurers reported positive underwriting profit, while two reported losses.

According to Ipec, the life assurance industry is made up of 1 594 agents, 11 direct life assurance companies, four composite reassurance companies and one life reassurer as at September 30, 2017.
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