AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of B+ (Good) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb-” to WAICA Reinsurance Corporation PLC (WAICA Re) (Sierra Leone). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect WAICA Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.
WAICA Re’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by the strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalisation, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio. The assessment considers the company’s conservative investment strategy, with the majority of the portfolio held as cash and deposits, and low level of retrocession dependence. A partially offsetting factor is the company’s exposure to the significant economic, political and financial system risks associated with the countries where WAICA Re operates, which include Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone.
WAICA Re has a track record of strong operating performance, demonstrated by a five-year (2015-2019) weighted average combined ratio and return on equity of 87.0% and 9.5%, respectively. Prospective earnings are expected to remain strong, underpinned by solid technical performance, and complemented by positive, albeit modest, investment returns, reflecting the low-yielding assets in which the company primarily invests.
AM Best considers WAICA Re’s business profile to be limited owing to its relatively small size and geographic concentration of business in Nigeria and Ghana.
The company reported gross written premium of USD 64.5 million in 2019.
Whilst AM Best expects WAICA Re to grow its premium base gradually through diversification into other markets, business will continue to originate primarily from Nigeria and Ghana.
Insurance, Pension Operators Tasked On Investment Drive, Proper Information Dissemination
Insurance and pension operators in Nigeria have been charged to embark on aggressive investment drive, while providing regular information to their shareholders and other stakeholders.
A financial analyst, Mr. Nona Awo, also urged insurance and pension operators to avail journalists of relevant data to ensure proper dissemination of information to the teeming populace.
He spoke at the 2020 National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) Members’ Training on Developmental Financial Journalism in Lagos recently.
Awo pointed out that even though the primary duty of the insurer is to collect premium the policyholders and pay claims to these policyholders when the need arises, it is, however, first an investment targeted at curbing risk.
He revealed that there are a lot of investment windows in the country when maximised capable of placing the insurance industry in a better position to increase its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“It is important to talk about investment in insurance as it tells you about today and tomorrow returns,” he said. He called on insurers to appoint investment experts on their board of Directors to make good profit from investment made.
He highlighted poor investment habit as one of the major reasons why some insurers find it difficult to settle claims when it arises. “One of the major challenges in the industry is claims settlement which can be resolved with proper investment plans that gives outstanding returns,” he stressed.
In a similar vein, media career development specialist, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, who spoke on Developmental Reporting and Opportunities, described data journalism as the ability to analyse and examine numbers and to know how to manage large data sets and read them correctly.
During his address, Otufodunrin urged journalists to focus more on reporting and analysing data while reporting insurance activities to promote awareness and sensitise the public on the need to insure.
According to him, story telling should be enhanced with infographics, data analysis, transcripts, to mention but a few
He stressed that, the industry needs a workflow that consists of digging deep into data by scraping, cleansing and structuring it, filtering by mining for specific information, visualising and making a story.
“Our platforms are no longer traditional, we are now multi-media, our audience are now more sophisticated and have access to multiple sources of information” he added.