The industry´s share of the GDP also went down, going from 2.3% to 1.9% in 2015, in a context of lower prices and increased accidents.
From a Bulletin by the Superintendent of Insurance of Costa Rica (SUG):
Total premium revenues reached ¢ 564.1 billion ($ 1.052 billion) in 2015, going down by 9%. Only general insurance revenues grew in a form similar to production and in a context of lower prices, as measured by the CPI (Consumer Price Index).
In August 2015 a growth rate of 8% in claims and 4% in the value of premiums was recorded.
Although growth in claims has moderated compared to previous months, the Superintendency of Insurance and Reinsurance believes that the gap between the growth of premiums and claims is still wide and capital required of insurance companies and premium costs need to be raised.
Insurers say the highly competitive market is generating large variations in the prices of premiums, particularly in auto policies.
Growth in claims, primarily in motor insurance, which increased 14% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2013, is generating increases in prices of premiums.
Claims are growing at a faster rate than the premiums paid by customers, which rose by 9.94%, after going from $117,696,000 in the first seven months of 2013 to $129,395,000 between January and July this year. According to Berguido, these figures indicate that, contrary to what was expected, there are not yet "significant price increases" in premiums and they are not widespread.
As of July claims for payments totaled $284 million, with personal insurance policies having increased the most.
In the case of personal accident insurance, registered insurance companies reported an increase of 13% between July 2013 and March this year. "...Within this category, those that grew the most were those of health and accident insurance, going from $26 million to $28 million. "
Industry participants predict a year-end in the red because of a sharp increase in claims for losses.
Prensa.com reports: "Although total premiums up to October 2013 was $976 million, with growth in the sector of 9.6% compared to the same period last year, the directors of the Panamanian Association of Insurers (Apadea) predict that at the end of the year there will be a loss. "
Insurance companies have reported positive results for the period from January to June of this year.
Pedro Geoffroy, president of the Salvadoran Association of Insurance Companies (ASES), explained that despite the tough economic environment there was an increase of 11.7% in premiums, that is, the amount of insurance policies the companies manage to sell in the market. These totaled $206.3 million for the first half of the year.
Insurance claims rose by 62.22 percent in the first five months of this year in Panama compared with the same period of 2007.
Insurers face difficulties that are likely to be reflected in lower profits. The increase in claims is being blamed on an increase in crime, poor fire prevention in the Colón Free Zone and an increase in the cost of medical services.
The Panamanian Aseguradores Association (APADEA), is a non-profit organisation, that was created in 1952 with the objective of developing, enlarging and coordinating the activity of the insurance market throughout Panama.
Operates in Panama
Phone: (507) 225-4445