The important role life insurance can play in a modern economy was emphasised by a top international economist when life insurance leader Ceylinco Life recently honoured 250 top achievers who contributed to the companyâ€™s stellar growth in 2011.
Addressing the 23rd Ceylinco Life Achieverâ€™s Night, Dr. Koshy Mathai, the IMF Resident Representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, said life insurance contributed to risk pooling, mobilising savings and capital market development, in addition to providing long term financial protection against the uncertainties of the future.
He explained that with life insurance taking away the worry about the future, those insured were free to get on with their lives and invest in other avenues. The contractual savings element in life insurance was also important, since it has been seen that high saving countries are also high investment countries, while countries with low savings are low investment countries, Dr. Mathai said.
Pointing out that many businessmen complain about the difficulty they face in securing long term finance, he said life insurance provides strong demand for long term assets like corporate bonds, since Life Funds also invest in corporate debt. â€œOverall, there is a lot of empirical evidence suggesting that the development of the life insurance sector leads to increased economic growth,â€ Dr. Mathai said.
In his address at this gala event, Ceylinco Life Managing Director and CEO R. Renganathan stressed that the company believes that providing long term financial protection to policyholders and their families is a sacred trust, and that the company owes it to policyholders to ensure that their hard-earned monies are managed with the utmost probity. â€œIn short, we have no business whatsoever to risk their money on volatile investments such as the stock market,â€ Mr. Renganathan said.
He said this approach, of steadfastly applying itself to the business of Life Insurance and constantly seeking to improve the quality of the traditional, core product continues to generate solid growth for Ceylinco Life, and kept the company at the Number One spot in the sector for the eighth consecutive year in 2011. â€œWe have, in fact, increased the gap in premium income between Ceylinco Life and the closest competitor in 2011, delivering a strong message that we hope the industry will heed,â€ he said.
Ceylinco Insurance PLC Chairman Godwin Perera said the companyâ€™s focus on professionalism — deploying a team of insurance specialists rather than simple salespeople — would enable it to maintain its leadership of the market despite the challenges posed by existing and emerging competitors.
The Achieverâ€™s Night event was followed by five-star dining and entertainment after each of the companyâ€™s high flyers had been rewarded with trophies, certificates and overseas trips to Bangkok and Singapore including Star Cruises. Branch Sales Heads, Unit Heads and Sales Consultants who have performed exceptionally well from all districts in Sri Lanka participated in this yearâ€™s Achieverâ€™s Night. Branches in the Jaffna peninsula and the Eastern province, as well as many rural towns featured prominently in the companyâ€™s honours list.
The top award winners were: Best Branch Head â€“ Platinum Category H. M. J. Banda (Kaduruwela Branch); Best Unit Head â€“ Platinum Category T. Rajakopal (Nelliady Branch) Best Sales Consultant â€“ Platinum Category A. I. P. Manjula (Ambalantota Branch) and Best Sales Consultant Gold Category N.A.J Fernando (Negombo Branch).
Ceylinco Life ended 2011 with a record Gross Written Premium Income of Rs 9.816 billion and total income of Rs 13.698 billion. The Companyâ€™s Life Fund grew by 19.9 per cent to Rs 38.2 billion as at 31st December 2011. Independently rated as one of the countryâ€™s most valuable brands, Ceylinco Life operates more than 180 branches, the largest branch network among local life insurance companies, and has won multiple international and local awards for its commitment to the community and success in brand equity building.
The companyâ€™s solvency margin, which illustrates its financial strength and ability to honour all claims, stood at eight times the minimum statutory requirement at the end of the 2011 financial year.