Insurance Corporation of Barbados (ICBL) has reported a significant turnaround in the company’s fortunes in the last financial year after suffering heavy losses in 2018.
ICBL’s recently published unaudited financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2019, showed the company made an after-tax profit of $4.2 million. For the same period in 2018, the former state-owned general insurance company reported a net loss of $8.79 million.
The company, which is majority-owned by the BF&M Group based in Bermuda, generated less income from premiums last year, but it was able to reduce some expenses and significantly increase its investment income.
According to the financials, the company wrote $109.95 million in gross premium income, which was a slight drop from the $112.45 million it wrote the previous year. On the investment side, ICBL’s investment income reached $6.01 million in 2019, while for the same period in 2018, it reported a $5.78 million loss on its investment.
ICBL chairman John Wight in comments accompanying the financials, lamented the difficult environment in which it was operating.
“The economic and market conditions remain challenging with continued pressure on the Motor Account profitability as a result of a continuing trend of high frequency and severity of claims,” he said.
Last year, ICBL found itself embroiled in scandal when former cabinet minister Donville Inniss was found guilty of laundering payments made to him through the United States, which were facilitated by two top executives of ICBL in order for the company to secure a million-dollar insurance contract with a state agency. No charges were brought against ICBL, but two former executives of the company were indicted by the American authorities.
Stressing that the company was concentrating on what it “can control”, Wight said ICBL would focus on “responsible underwriting, conservative reinsurance programmes, expense reduction through transformation, modernization, and superior customer service. ICBL remains well-capitalised, which is essential for policyholders who need the confidence that their claims will be paid”.
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