Major insurer Ceylinco Insurance will rely on the expansion of its branch network in rural areas to compete with large international insurers now entering the local turf, company officials say.
Ceylinco Insurance MD and chief executive Ajith Gunawardena said that already two of the world’s largest general insurance companies have acquired local firms, while other global leaders are also eyeing the local market, which is expected to create stiff competition, reports EconomyNext.
“We welcome competition, either locally or from abroad. I think some of the people get scared with foreigners entering, but we are not. There’s a saying that the old broom knows the nooks and corners. We being here, we know the nooks and corners,” he said.
“That’s why we have over 700 branches and it is ever increasing. Before the end of the year, our general insurance will open at least another 30 branches,” he said.
Further, Ceylinco Insurance is planning an overhaul of its general and life insurance services by end-2018 to make them more attractive. “There will be many changes to the portfolio that we have, which will be backed by the world’s largest reinsurance providers,” Mr Gunawardena said.
Ceylinco Life Insurance MD and chief executive Rajkumar Renganathan said that even though the growth of the Sri Lankan economy has slowed down in recent years, it would not affect the insurance industry significantly, as there exists untapped potential due to low penetration of insurance products.
With new initiatives, Ceylinco Insurance is expecting to grow its gross written premiums by 15% in 2018, Mr Gunawardena said. In comparison, Ceylinco’s gross written premiums grew by 8.9% to LKR34.7 billion ($219 million) in 2017.