Enterprise, SIC battle for top spot

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Two insurance companies, Enterprise Insurance Company and the SIC Insurance Limited, have remained the dominant players in the market in recent years with a survey revealing that the firms have taken turns to occupy the top spot in the sector.

A report by international rating agency, Fitch, said over the past six years, SIC had occupied the top spot in four years only to lose it to Enterprise in 2018 and last year.

It said the two companies controlled more than a quarter of the industry’s market share last year at a time when 20 insurers were operating in the non-life business.

“In 2020, Enterprise secured 13.4 per cent market share while SIC dropped to 12.5 per cent. Enterprise wrote US$39.7 million premiums that year, just ahead of SIC’s US$43.4 million,” the report, which examined developments in the insurance market, said.

Top four

It listed the Enterprise Insurance, SIC, Hollard and GLICO as the top four largest companies that were engaged in close competition.

It said Hollard, Glico and Star (in third to fifth place in 2020) all reported premiums of between US$20m and US$30m in 2020, giving each a market share of seven to nine per cent.

“In sixth place in 2020 was Vanguard Assurance, which reported US$24.8m in underwriting activity that year, equivalent to about 7.2 per cent of total non-life premiums. Many of the leading non-life companies offer broadly similar portfolios of property and casualty, health, and liability lines to both household and corporate clients,” it added.

Threat from outside

The report said except South Africa’s Hollard, the six largest non-life providers were indigenous companies but noted that “multi-national non-life groups had been growing in stature over recent years.

It said many were now challenging the dominance of the market’s traditional leaders, citing Sanlam as one of the multi-nationals that had been steadily growing its exposure on the Ghanaian market.

“Building on its ownership of the Metropolitan brand in October 2014, the company acquired a 40 per cent stake in the non-life insurance business of Enterprise Insurance for around ZAR240m. Sanlam also owned 49 per cent of Enterprise Life and 40 per cent of Enterprise’s pension fund administration business”.

“Other South African firms have been moving into the country. In November 2014, IVM Intersurer, a significant investor in Hollard group, along with Hollard itself, took a majority stake in non-life insurer, Metropolitan and has since renamed its local operations to Hollard Ghana,” the report said.

Growth

It said the country’s non-life insurance market was one of the fastest-growing in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region and was undergoing a transformation.

It noted the efforts by the government and the NIC to create a more robust sector with emphasis on consolidation to improve balance sheets but said the approach had been a gentle one to date.

“Over the medium term, it is likely that premium growth will boost larger players in the market, with those with smaller market shares merging or dissolving,” the report said.

On product offerings, the report said services were broad, covering the majority of traditional non-life sub-sectors, including engineering, property, travel, goods in transit, health and motor.

It said the motor vehicle segment was a particular source of innovation within the non-life market, owing in large part, to the relative size of the coverage line which currently accounted for nearly half of non-life premiums written in the country.

“While motor vehicle cover remains a major source of revenue for Ghanaian non-life insurers, there have been concerns surrounding recent rises in claims activity within this segment of the market, due to a rise in road accidents,” it said.

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