NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Major health insurer Generali is set to exit the Bahamian market by year’s end 2021, Eyewitness News has confirmed.
Multiple insurance industry sources have confirmed that Generali last week gave notice of its intentions to exit by December 2021, a move that came as a surprise to many.
While numerous attempts to reach local executives proved unsuccessful over the weekend, Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) acting chairman Anton Sealey told Eyewitness News that a notice was disseminated from the company regarding its exit last week.
Sealey said: “We got the same notice everyone else did. We haven’t had a chance to really form an opinion on it one way or the other. According to what they put out they were looking for a local buyer and haven’t come up with one yet. We haven’t really formulated a position on it.
“The notice just came out last week. I just saw it Thursday and haven’t had time to really digest it. My company just recently requested a quote from them that’s how much of a surprise it was to me.”
Michelle Fields, Superintendent of Insurance said: “The Insurance Commission of The Bahamas has been advised by Generali of their intent to exit the market in The Bahamas. We expect that the withdrawal from the market will be orderly and that all of the Company’s contractual obligations will be settled.”
Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest told Eyewitness News that he was aware of reports that Generali was exiting the jurisdiction, but did not have formal notice.
Generali Worldwide Insurance Company Limited has its headquarters in Guernsey and specializes in offering life-insurance-based wealth management and employee benefit solutions.
In March of last year, Assicurazioni Generali SpA announced that it had completed the sale of its entire shareholding in Generali Worldwide Insurance Company Limited and Generali Link to Life Company Consolidation Group, the parent of Utmost Wealth Solutions.
Generali Worldwide is now Utmost Worldwide. Generali retained the health portfolio of Generali Worldwide in the Caribbean, which is managed by the global health division of Generali.
While it is unclear how many employees locally will be impacted by the move, one industry executive expressed concern over the company’s supposed inability to sell its book of business and the likely impact on many of its current policy holders.
“Yes they are leaving but there are likely many clients on their books who are sick and it may be hard for them to find a new carrier to take them on,” said the executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“This is bigger than what people may think. If we don’t close the gaps this can have a CLICO like effect for those persons who are extremely sick or groups performing badly and can’t find another cover.”
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated General planned to exit the Bahamian market by this year’s end; however, the notice advised the company would shutter operations by the end of 2021.