ZEP-RE (PTA Reinsurance Company) recorded a marked growth in written premium in the financial year ending December 31, 2018 of USD178.5 million up from USD152.1 million recorded in 2017, representing a 17% growth.
The Company, however, experienced a significant rise in claim, a regionwide phenomenon that saw most of the regional markets make losses at both insurance and reinsurance level. Despite an increase in loss ratio the Company still realised a profit of USD 10 million.
Speaking at the Company’s 28th Annual General Meeting, which was officially opened by the Dr Chris Kiptoo, Trade Principal Secretary, who was representing Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, ZEP-RE Chairman William Erio said unlike previous years exchange rates for most local currencies were stable and resilient during the year save for a few currencies which depreciated.
“The combination of these two factors – deterioration of loss experience and currencies depreciation impacted on the Company’s profitability and reducing the realised profit to USD10.14 million in 2018. Additionally, the insurance industry has been facing pricing pressures and generally lower insurance penetration. These challenges have had the direct impact of increasing the cost of doing business and a reduction in margins. This is reflected in the industry performance in 2018 which was one of the few years with record high losses,” Erio told shareholders.
Total income (net earned premium, investment income, commission earned and other income) for the year 2018 by 9.6% to USD148 million up from USD135 million recorded in 2017. Gross claim however increased from USD83 million in 2018 up from USD66 million in 2017. Total assets grew by 2.8% to reach USD383.9 million, total liabilities rose by 5.68% to USD154.2 million, with shareholders’ funds hitting USD USD300 million in 2018.
“The strong balance sheet has been key in helping the Company provide security to market players in the region and maintain its investment grade credit rating of B++ (AM Best) and a claim paying ability rating of AA+ (GCR Ratings),” Erio said.
ZEP-RE Managing Director Ms Hope Murera said the company recorded growth in our key markets of Kenya, Zimbabwe, India, Uganda, and Tanzania supported mainly by growth in motor and medical classes.
“ZEP-Re also has a growing international reputation in underwriting infrastructure projects, property, casualty, life, and marine. These sectors continue to support and sustained our growth,” Ms Murera said.
Dr Kiptoo lauded the role played by ZEP-RE in supporting and positively transforming the local and the region’s insurance industry.
“We note with gratitude large claim payouts you have made to businesses in Kenya including payouts to small scale traders at Gikomba market, the JKIA airport f**e claim, the Westgate t*******m claims, and now the Dusit t****r a****k. As a government, we are looking up to insurance and re-insurance companies like ZEP-RE to support our Big Four Agenda aimed at transforming Kenya into a newly industrialized country,” Dr Kiptoo said.