By Favour Nnabugwu
GCR Ratings, one of Africa’s foremost rating agencies, has revised Leadway Assurance Company Limited’s financial stability rating to AA+(NG) from AA(NG) in their June 2023 Report.
The upgraded rating reflects Leadway Assurance’s consistent and superior capacity to meet its financial commitments and obligations, affirming the robust creditworthiness of the insurer. The upgrade also indicates the insurers’ stable and consistently growing outlook.
This outlook is underpinned by the leading insurer’s Total premium collection of NGN 104.4 billion of which Gross Written Premium (GWP) growth rate at 31% was NGN92.5 billion ($218.6 million at NGN423.3/$) as of the financial year that ended December 31, 2022, largely driven by its expansion strategies in its general and life business segments.
In addition, Leadway’s capital base of NGN81.2 billion ($181 million at NGN448.6/$) as of December 31, 2022, supported a GCR Capital Adequacy Ratio (GCR CAR) of above 2x. Similarly, the insurer’s regulatory solvency margin ratio was strong at 7x (2021: 10x) in the same year.
According to the rating agency, “this growth translated to a market share of about 12% of the Nigerian insurance industry’s GWP. The Insurer’s GWP is concentrated in the annuity, group life, and special risks business lines, which contributed 29.5%, 20.3%, and 18.2% to GWP, respectively, in 2022, although concentration to the annuity business is higher at 42.2% of Net Written Premiums (NWP).”
Consequently, GCR projected Leadway’s continued leadership in the Nigerian insurance industry: “Over the next 12-18 months, we expect Leadway’s leadership position in the Nigerian insurance industry to be sustained, supported by its wide distribution network and expansion initiatives, especially in the retail segment.”
Commenting on the report, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Leadway Assurance, Tunde Hassan-Odukale, said, “We are delighted to receive the upgraded ‘AA+’ rating from Global Credit Rating (GCR), validating our company’s strong capitalization, prudent risk management practices, exceptional underwriting performance, and unwavering dedication to sustaining a robust financial foundation to consistently deliver outstanding value and excellent services to our policyholders and stakeholders.
“Over the last five decades, Leadway has demonstrated resilience and adaptability to navigate through dynamic market conditions while maintaining financial solidity and credibility in fulfilling its obligations to diverse policyholders. The “AA+” rating from GCR further reaffirms Leadway Assurance’s ability to weather uncertainties and maintain stability even in challenging economic environments.”
ABOUT LEADWAY ASSURANCE
Leadway Assurance is a leading provider of insurance solutions, offering a wide range of products and services to individuals and businesses. With a strong focus on customer satisfaction and innovation, Leadway Assurance has established itself as a trusted and reliable partner for all insurance needs.
GCR is a licensed rating agency in several markets, including Kenya with the Capital Markets Authority, Nigeria with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Zimbabwe with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Senegal with the Financial Markets Authority of the West African Monetary Union, and Mauritius with the Financial Services Commission. In South Africa, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority registers GCR as a Credit Rating Services Provider. GCR is also recognized as an eligible External Credit Assessment Institution (ECAI) by the South African Reserve Bank. GCR is also a founder member of Europe-based ARC Ratings, registered with the European Securities and Markets Authority