Cornerstone Insurance records N17.53bn gross premium in 2020


By Kayode Tokede

Cornerstone Insurance Plc, on Tuesday said it recorded a Gross Premium Written of N 17.53 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2020.

Chairman of the company, Mr Segun Adebanji  announced this at the 29th Annual General Meeting/30th anniversary of the insurer in Lagos.

Adebanji said the amount represented an increase of 34 per cent over the previous year, despite the challenging environment of the year under review.

“Premiums from life insurance grew from N3.84 billion in the previous year to N5.54 billion in 2020 and accounted for 31 per cent of the gross premium written.

“The largest contributors to general business gross premium written were oil, gas, aviation, engineering; while motor classes contributed N3.53 billion, N2.86 billion and N1.52 billion respectively,” he said.

According to him, the investment portfolios of the underwriter also yielded positive figures, driven mainly by the effect of changes in foreign exchange rates and also from sales of foreign currency denominated assets during the year.

The Chairman said investment and treasury activities contributed N3.73 billion to the overall revenue.

Adebanji said the gross claims ratio for the year under review stood at 41 per cent and had been relatively stable year-on-year since the company put in place stricter risk acceptance parameters.

“Even though the overall ratio of claims to revenue has remained relatively stable, the effects of the fourth quarter 2020 protests are clearly noticeable in our financial statements.

“As non-life gross claims incurred increased by 62 per cent when compared with the previous year, and gross claims from the fire class specifically rose by 85 per cent, from N816 million in 2019 to N1.51 billion,” he said.

Adebanji explained that personnel and other operating costs dropped by close to 7 per cent as the management executed remote working protocols and other measures to safeguard the welfare of staff.

He noted the insurance firm’s investment in a robust nationwide technology infrastructure over the years ensured that normal operations were carried out unabated.

“Consequently, our Group ended the year with a profit before tax of N1.76 billion. The global and domestic economic events of the year 2020 had significant repercussions for the financial services sub sector in Nigeria.

“The ramifications of the novel Coronavirus pandemic and ensuing governmental responses were felt across the globe.

“The impact of the economic situation and the pandemic on the insurance industry was multifaceted ,as the revenues and disposable incomes of corporate and individual customers alike were affected, so too were insurers’ premiums,” he said.

According to the Chairman, the board and management of the insurance company, however, acted proactively to minimise the effects on its financial performance.

Adebanji lauded the insurance company shareholders for their support and sustained interest in the growth of the company and the staff for their unrelenting efforts.

“While 2021 may not be a year for expansion, it is a year in which we are discovering new strengths and capabilities as the world embraces new ways of working and communicating through technology,” he said.