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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Universal Insurance’s Underwriting Income up 49.58% as Combined Ratio Improves

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A sharp reduction in claims expenses has resulted in improved underwriting results as the insurer is sanguine that the launch of innovative products will propel future revenue growth.

For the first month through September 2021, Universal Insurance’s underwriting profit-which is the difference between premium income and claims/underwriting expenses- increased by 49.58 percent to N1.10 billion from N738.02 million as at September 2020.

Combined ratio improved to 96.68 percent in September 2021 from 109.27 percent the previous year, according to MoneyCentral calculations.

The combined ratio is a measure of profitability used by an insurance company to gauge how well it is performing in its daily operations.

A ratio below 100 percent indicates that the company is making an underwriting profit, while a ratio above 100 percent means that it is paying out more money in claims that it is receiving from premiums.

Universal Insurance’s strong underwriting income was buoyed by a reduction in claims expenses by 67.49 percent to N98.12 million, while claims ratio fell to 5.05 percent in the period under review from 17.39 percent the previous year.

 To protect insured riders from the perils of the road, the company unveiled a personal accident cover called ‘Keke Pass’ for tricycle operators, also known as Keke.

According to the company, Keke riders are important transport operators in Nigeria as they provide alternative transportation for people and goods when the need arises.

Managing Director/CEO, Universal Insurance, Benedict Ujoatuonu, said with as low as N2,600, riders can get a personal accident cover and have peace of mind, adding that the product comes in four different plans.

“Keke pass is an innovative product that looks at the rider himself in making sure that adequate insurance is provided for the benefit of the rider in case he sustains injury that requires medical attention while he is riding temporarily or permanent disability as a result of the accident or in the unfortunate event of the death of the ride,’’ said Ujoatu0nu.

The company’s gross premium income (GPI) increased by 10.24 percent to N2.42 billion from N2.19 billion the previous year.

Net premium income (NPI) followed the same growth trajectory as it was up 12.33 percent to N1.94 billion in September 2021 from N1.73 billion a as at September 2020.

However, rising management expenses and a drop in investment income led to a 22.40 percent reduction in net income to N316.02 million as at September 2021.

Many insurance companies have been hard hit by deteriorating financial instruments or investment returns, brought on by a low yield environment.

And that is even on top of the obligations arising from the ENDSAR protest, a demonstration by youth against police brutality that went wrong and resulted in severe vandalization and theft of properties by hoodlums who had hijacked what was supposed to be a peaceful protest.

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