NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas First saw a 43.5 percent increase in net claims in 2019 largely attributable to Hurricane Dorian, the insurer has reported.
Patrick Ward, president and chief executive officer of Bahamas First Holdings Ltd noted in the company’s 2019 annual report that the net claims for the group “increased dramatically” to $39.9 million in 2019.
This reflects an increase of 43.5 percent compared to the prior year total of $27.8 million.
“The majority of this increase is attributable to Hurricane Dorian, which is the largest ever natural catastrophe event to impact The Bahamas.,” Ward said.
“The losses directly related to Dorian have overshadowed the fact that the underlying portfolios of business in both the health and property and casualty segments performed very well in 2019, and this is obviously very promising for the future results of the group.”
Ward noted that the performance of the group’s investment portfolio during 2019 was significantly better than the prior year, which has assisted in containing the company’s net loss to $5.1 million, compared to a net profit of $10.1 million in 2018.
The insurer saw a total comprehensive income for 2019 of $2.4 million, compared to $9.3 million in 2018.
“This translates into a negative ROE of (4.6 percent) for 2019, well below the 13.9 percent achieved in 2018. Our capital base remains strong, despite the book value falling to $1.45 per ordinary share for 2019, with total equity at $62.3 million,” he said.