Business

Gross insurance premiums just short of $1B in 2021

General insurers underwrote gross premiums of $423.4M, net premiums of $115.5M

Gross premiums in the insurance industry in The Bahamas grew to $985.69 million in 2021, a more than $100 million increase over 2020’s $844.5 million in gross premiums, the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas (ICB) revealed in its annual report for 2021.

Additionally, general insurers underwrote gross premiums of $423.4 million and net premiums of $115.5 million, an increase of 12 percent and 14 percent over 2020, when they recorded $376.7 million and $101.8 million respectively.

This growth, the ICB said, was tied primarily to increased business as the economy reopened in 2021, and as a result of premium price increases throughout the industry.

“These price increases were predominantly related to property insurance given the exorbitant losses incurred following Hurricane Dorian, which devastated several islands of The Bahamas during 2019. The major lines of business – property and motor insurance – accounted for approximately 69 percent and 16 percent of gross premiums respectively. Property insurance premiums increased by approximately $56.5 million (24 percent), while motor insurance premiums increased by $4.2 million (seven percent) during the period,” the commission said in its annual report.

“Other lines of business also experienced moderate to significant increases in premiums, including marine, aviation and transport, which increased by $4.5 million (48 percent) to $13.7 million during the period. However, liability coverage underwent a seven percent decline during the period. Property insurance premiums increased by approximately $56.5 million (24 percent), while motor insurance premiums increased by $4.2 million (seven percent) during the period.”

The report continued, “Other lines of business also experienced moderate to significant increases in premiums, including marine, aviation and transport, which increased by $4.5 million (48 percent) to $13.7 million during the period. However, liability coverage underwent a seven percent decline during the period. General insurers experienced underwriting gains of $39.4 million and total income of $14.1 million, marginally down from the aggregate underwriting income of $42.4 million and total income of $16.01 million in 2020, as net claims increased by $8.3 million. Net claims incurred totaled $21.9 million during the period, of which 66 percent or $14.4 million emanated from the motor line of business.”

Although COVID-19 restrictions remained for the greater portion of 2021, the ICB attributed measured growth in the tourism and construction sectors near the end of the year as the driving force behind the country’s economic rebound. It said the insurance sector’s contribution to overall GDP remained stable.

“The insurance industry remained stable and continued to significantly contribute to the economy, generating more than $908.99 million in insurance premiums in the domestic sector, which is an increase of approximately nine percent over the previous year. Gross premiums in both the domestic and external sectors ($985.69 million) represented approximately 8.79 percent of The Bahamas’ nominal GDP as at the end of December, 2021,” the ICB said.

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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