The Financial Express

Company profile

Prime Insurance to diversify businesses

| Updated: July 04, 2018 10:45:04

Mohammodi Khanam Mohammodi Khanam

Prime Insurance Company Limited has vowed to diversify its businesses aiming to grab the untapped insurance market of the country.

"We like to shun the traditional and ritualistic practices with the existing products in our comparatively shallow insurance market and enrich the portfolio with entry of new products," Mohammodi Khanam, MD & CEO of Prime Insurance Company Ltd told the FE recently.

She, however, put thrust on mandatory regulatory support as well as mass awareness to make her company efforts a success.

Presently, insurance industry accounts for only 0.7 per cent of Bangladesh's total GDP.

"Prime Insurance is enjoying an almost unassailable financial position underpinned by a prudent and diversified business strategy," the Prime Insurance MD said.

It registered 25 per cent and 29 per cent growth in gross premium and net premium earnings respectively in 2017 against the previous year.

The gross premium of the company rose to Tk 669.07 million while the net premium jumped to Tk 254.53 million in 2017.

The company's pre-tax profit rose to Tk 110.68 million in 2017 against Tk 101.88 million in 2016.

Being a listed company, Prime Insurance disbursed cash dividend at the rate of 15 per cent in 2017 against 13 per cent in 2016.

According to the latest annual report of the company, micro insurance coverages on crop, agriculture, livestock, small holders, weather index-based insurance has a very good prospect in Bangladesh.

"There is a possible chance to integrate the insurance product, service of government and NGOs at the same time and same point. A valuable supply chain through agency system may be established to develop the micro insurance product and services,'' the annual report said.

Prime Insurance has a plan to provide wider coverage with micro insurance products under a strong distribution channel in near future.

The Prime Insurance MD said some regulatory compulsions, if implemented diligently will help a lot to change the complexion of country's neglected insurance sector.

"We need a disciplined and thriving insurance sector to spur the economy of our country, but without some regulatory compulsions, it is not possible to increase the depth of the present market," Mohammodi Khanam said.

She said proper implementation of Banker's Blanket Bond Policy, Bancassurance, earthquake insurance policy, Hajj & Umrah insurance policy and Shipbuilders Liability Insurance are quite impossible without the mandatory directives from Bangladesh Bank, Finance Ministry, Shipping Ministry and Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA).

Adoption of mandatory insurance policy from the local insurers regarding capital machinery used in the ongoing mega projects under public private partnership (PPP) could help broaden the insurance market size.

Regarding Bankers Blanket Bond Policy, the Prime Insurance CEO said, the company launched the product in 2014 which covers all the financial risk as per the Bangladesh bank requirement under one umbrella with wider coverages.

"Our BBB policy will also reduce the premium at least 30 per cent with compare to existing policies and some commercial banks have already adopted the policy."

"If banks take BBB policy, the bankers will be comfortable for buying the additional risks from the insurer time to time as per requirement of cash handling/secured vault money. Moreover, we have a robust reinsurance support that has the capacity to handle any amount declared by banks," she said.

The BB has already issued a circular for financial risk insurance that has been mandatory for all banks.

"Banks even can take cyber crime and directors and officers liability, professional indemnity policy additionally along with BBB," the Prime Insursance chief executive said.

Regarding Hajj & Umrah and earthquake insurance policies, the Prime Insurance CEO said her company offers a very lucrative policy in both the areas but if the regulatory bodies do not issue mandatory directives in this regard, the outcome will not be up to the mark.

"For example, Prime Insurance offers a very attractive Hajj & Umrah policy, but the Hajj agencies are not cooperating us to broaden this facility," Mohammodi Khanam said adding both IDRA and Religious Affairs Ministry should consider this issue deeply so that the financial inclusion gets a thriving momentum.

'Prime Health Plan' offers policy which covers for "medical expenses" in the unfortunate event of hospitalisation of the insured or policy holder due to sudden illness or accident.

"Prime health plan brings a radical change in our life by making this policy effective and advantageous," according to the annual report.

Meanwhile, Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) along with Insurance Institute of India, Indo Thai Chamber Of Commerce, Life Council of India and PwC have awarded Prime Insurance Company Limited as the winner for Best Product Innovation in General Insurance at the Emerging Asia Insurance Awards & Conclave, 2018 held recently in Bangkok.

CEO of Prime Insurance Company Ltd received the award from Mr. Amit Roy, Director, Insurance & Allied Businesses PwC, India.

On winning the award, Mohammodi Khanam said, over the past years Prime Insurance Company has won a number of prestigious awards and achieved new milestones in the insurance industry. But the latest international recognition from the ICC is another stepping stone towards becoming the best innovative products-based company in the country.

"The award in fact bears testimony to our unfeigned commitment to the progress of our national economy," she added.

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