WAICA Re incurred US$30m net claim last year

Kofi Duffuor
The West African Reinsurance Corporation (WAICA Re) incurred a net claim of US$30.5million in its 2020 financial year, which translated to a 63 percent increase from the US$18.7million it recorded in 2019.

The claims were incurred across most of the nine countries it is operating from. The nine countries include: Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, The Gambia, Zimbabwe and Côte d’Ivoire

Speaking at the 8th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Reinsurance firm held virtually at the weekend, the group chairman, Kofi Duffuor, added that facultative claims contributed 59 percent of the total claims paid while treaty claims were 41% – stressing that the net incurred loss ratio increased to 39% in 2020 compared to 31% in 2019.

Underpinned by an increase in business volumes and increased claims reserve, net claims incurred increased by 63% to US$30.5million in 2020 from US$18.7million in 2019. Facultative claims contributed 59% of total claims paid while treaty claims were 41%. Consequently, the net incurred loss ratio increased to 39% in 2020 compared to 31% in 2019.

To him, “Net commission expense rose to US$23.5million in 2020 from US$17.6million in 2019, representing 33% growth largely as a direct function of growth in earnings. The commission ratio also remained flat at 30%, in line with both company trend and industry averages.”

Operating expenses, he said, decreased year on year by 4 percent, given management efforts to reduce cost; hence, operating expenses fell to US$17.1million in 2020 from US$18.2million in 2019 even as expense ratio equally fell to 22% in 2020 from 31% in 2019.

Overall, combined ratio improved to 91% in 2020 having fallen from 93% in 2019, he pointed out.

Stressing that WAICA Re has continued to display a strong underwriting profitability as a result of sound underwriting and risk selection, he noted that technical profit grew from US$23.2million in 2019 to US$26.2million in 2020, representing a 13% growth.

 “Underwriting profit grew from US$5million in 2019 to US$8.8million in 2020, a growth rate of 77%. While Technical margin fell from 40% in 2019 to 33% in 2020, underwriting margin improved from 9% in 2019 to 11% in 2020,” he pointed out.

Stating that the reinsurance firm’s investment and other income witnessed an increase of 14% from US$3.4million in 2019 to US$3.9million in 2020 even though there was a general fall in interest rates – especially in Anglophone West Africa, he added that return on investment fell from 4% in 2019 to 3.7% in 2020.

To him, “Management continues to review the investment portfolio to help improve return on investment. The above Profit and Loss analysis shows that the major drivers of profit in 2020 were the growth in premium income, improved underwriting performance and a reduction in management expenses”.

Improved premium collection, he stressed, enabled the group to increase cash and investment assets by 29% to US$114.9million in 2020 from US$88.9million in 2019.

The group’s cash and investment assets, he stated, account for 62.5% of total balance sheet size. Liquid assets increased to US$105.2million in 2020 from US$79.3million in 2019 – giving the group strong liquidity metrics compared to claims and technical liabilities, he said.

He announced to shareholders that the board of directors recommended a dividend of 0.0814 per share amounting to US$4,000,000 (2019: US$3,000,000).

This dividend will be paid to shareholders whose names appear in the register of the Corporation as at the date of the AGM, he assured.

The board of the firm, he said, recommended the issuing of additional capital of 10 million shares in 2020 by a rights issue, at a price to be determined by its financial advisors.

“There was also the intention to invite strategic investors to take up shares in the Corporation. These decisions were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainties which surrounded it. “This year, we would like to carry out the exercise as it will strategically position the corporation to underwrite larger businesses – especially in the oil and gas sector among others; expansion of our ICT, and to ensure a strong balance sheet that will make us more competitive in the reinsurance market,” he said.

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