The insurance sector injected $819.8 million into the Bahamian economy in 2018, the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas revealed in its annual report.
It represents a 5.5 percent increase in insurance premiums over 2017 which saw $778.3 million in gross premiums across domestic insurers.
“This accounts for approximately 6.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and reflects the insurance sector penetration rate,” the commission’s superintendent, Michele Fields, said in the report.
“The growth in premiums is congruent with the country’s overall GDP, which increased by 2.2 percent in 2018.”
This growth continued despite a relatively static number of registered insurance companies, which consisted of 11 long-term insurers, 17 general insurers and 32 external insurers and intermediaries.
“Global developments related to tax reform and international initiatives continue to challenge growth in the international insurance market,” the report noted.
“The commission approved 10 segregated accounts for segregated account companies licensed under the External Insurance Act, which continues to be the focus of the jurisdiction’s marketing initiatives in the international arena.”
Fields continued, “2018 was a year of continued growth and development for the commission. The regulatory framework continued to evolve with the Risk-Based Capital framework, which was fully implemented for long-term insurance companies at the end of 2018, following a three-year consultative period.”
With the International Financial Reporting Standards 17 (insurance contracts) on the horizon and slated to be implemented in 2022, the commission said it will continue to engage insurers to assess the impact that the new standard, which replaces IFRS 4, will have on their operations and ensure that staff receive the appropriate training for the changes ahead.