Saturday 4 April, 2020

Minister says insurance industry vital to economy

Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Audley Shaw, says the insurance industry represents an “excellent avenue” for economic growth in Jamaica.

“It is a well-developed industry in terms of international standards and contribution to the gross domestic product, which accounts for some 11.5 per cent of the country’s financial assets,” the Minister added.

He was speaking at the launch of Caribbean Assurance Brokers Limited (CAB) loyalty programme, at the Mercedes-Benz Jamaica Showroom at Silver Star Motors Limited, South Camp Road, Kingston, on Thursday (December 5).

The Minister noted that the sector’s assets totalled $316.2 billion as at March 2018, representing an 8.4 per cent increase over the $291.6 billion recorded for the corresponding period in 2017.

Mr Shaw said there has been a steady growth in the life insurance sector, whose companies continue to be the dominant stakeholders in the local industry.

These entities, he pointed out, account for 80.2 per cent of the sector’s total assets, as against the 19.8 per cent stake by general insurance firms.

He further highlighted the “greater level of dynamism” being generated in the local health insurance industry, noting that “we are seeing a wider range of coverage at the various companies”.

Against this background, Mr Shaw argued that the insurance sector represents a “critical component” of Jamaica’s economy.

“The efficient management of the sector can provide tremendous economic and social gains for the country as well as induced development which, ultimately, leads to wealth creation and growth,” he added.

Mr Shaw said, however, that despite the sector’s maturity, “there is still room for growth”, citing the many avenues through which this growth can be facilitated.

“I am confident that as the years progress, we can revolutionise the sector. Once you build up your business and refine your practice, that growth will come,” he said.

CAB limited is a multiline brokerage firm that has been offering a full range of insurance products and services in Jamaica for the past 13 years.

These include international health, life and travel, employee benefits, general insurance, local and individual health, and credit union members’ health plan.

The loyalty programme allows CAB’s more than 50,000 clients to receive discounts whenever they present their loyalty cards at any of the over 200 affiliated healthcare providers and merchants islandwide.

Silver Star Motors, which holds the local Mercedes-Benz dealership, is one of CAB’s significant merchant partners.

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