Rwanda Insurance Industry Grows By 36 Per Cent

The insurance sector grew by 36 per cent between 2011 and 2012, according to the latest National Bank of Rwanda monetary policy and financial stability statement released by the central bank last month.

The sector’s revenues also grew progressively, for instance by December 2012, the industry recorded Rwf214b compared to Rwf157 in 2011, representing a 36 per cent expansion. The gross premiums also grew by 67 per cent, from Rwf46b in 2011 to Rwf77b in 2012.

“Last year, we tripled our advertising campaigns, which increased general public awareness about insurance services and their importance. This was more new people coming on board,” said Pamela Abonyo, the assistant manager corporate communications at Sonarwa Insurance Company while commenting on the sector’s growth.

She added that a bylaw passed by the government last year, which made it compulsory for all commercial properties to be insured against fire also played a big role as property owners were forced to take on policies.

Last year, the industry’s profitability (after taxes) also increased by 192 per cent, from Rfw12b in 2011, to Rwf35b in 2012.

“Ever since the central bank started supervising the insurance sector, the number of policy holders (clients ) increase as this protected their interests,” Bonaventure Sangano, the director for non-bank financial institutions department at the central bank, said.

He added that separation of life and non-life insurance, instituting of corporate governance structures, coupled with latest licensing of a number of insurance companies, boosted capitalisation and ensured efficient management.

“The fact that last year in July, the government made a general salary increment for most of its employees may have partly contributed to the general increase in subscription to insurance services,” noted the National Bank of Rwanda governor, John Rwangombwa, at a recent media conference.

By the end of 2011, the sector had six non-life insurers, three life and two public insurers, totaling to 11 insurers in the entire market. However, by the end of 2012 the number had increased to 152 insurance agents, six insurance brokers and nine loss adjusters.

The liquidity position of the insurers also improved as the current ratio stands at 241 per cent.

The return on assets increased from 9 per cent to 17 per cent, and the return on equity from 13 per cent to 25 per cent, according to this periodic statement review

The pension sector is comprised of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF/CSR), which merged with Rama to form Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) and about 40 private pension schemes.The National Social Security Fund covers largely salaried workers representing eight per cent of the working population in Rwanda.

The pension sector assets increased by 74 per cent from Rwf192b recorded during the quarter that ended in December 2011, to Rwf334b recorded in the quarter that ended in December 2012, this excludes private pension schemes.

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