"The companies have been the leaders of the Philippine insurance industry for a considerable time, mainly because they have been strongly capitalized and well-managed."
The insurance industry arguably is one field that requires the strongest capitalization and the best management. Reason: the industry is regularly called upon to settle claims for loss or damage—after very large ones—in exchange for fractional amounts known as premiums. Thus, to thrive, let alone survive, an insurance company needs to be well-capitalized and well-managed.
The report submitted recently by the Insurance Commission to the Secretary of Finance—his immediate superior—on the performance of the Philippine insurance industry in 2018 reflects the financial strength and managerial capability that insurance companies need to get to the top of the industry. The family names underpinning the status and performance of the leading insurance companies are names well known in the Philippine business community, such as Ayala, Yuchengco, Coyuito and Ty.
The Insurance Commission reported that on the life side of the insurance industry, the top five companies in 2018 in terms of total assets were Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company (currently known as Philippines-Canadian-controlled Sun Life of Canada [Philippines] Inc.; mutual company Insular Life Assurance Co. Ltd.; Philippine-French Joint Venture Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp.; and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)-Philam Life Assurance Corp. Inc. Philam Life had total assets of P246 billion, and Sun Life P222 billion.
The no. 1 life insurance company in 2018 in terms of premium income was Sun Life; it generated P37 billion worth of premium; Pru Life Insurance Corp., a British company, received premiums totalling P22 billion.
The life insurance companies with the highest net income in 2018 were Philam Life (P9.8 billion) and Sun Life (P6.8 billion).
FWD Life Insurance Corp. and the Philippine-Italian joint venture Generali Life Assurance Philippines Inc. were the companies with the highest paid-up capital. The figures were P2.3 billion and P2.2 billion, respectively.
On the non-life insurance side of the Insurance Commission's report, the five leading companies were Coyuito-owned Prudential Guarantee and Assurance Inc., Yuchengco-owned Malaya Insurance Co. Inc., Metrobank affiliate Charter Ping An; co-owned Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corp., and Ayala-controlled BPI/MS Insurance Corp.
Malayan Insurance wrote P10.1 billion worth of gross premiums and was the champion in that regard. But in terms of net premiums written the leader was Prudential Guarantee with an almost P5.2 billion total.
In the total-assets area, Malayan Insurance was the no. 1 with assets totaling P34 billion.
Net worth—what remains in a company after it has paid all its obligations—is a key measure of the strength and stability of an insurance company. At end 2018, Standard Insurance Co. Inc. and Philippine First Insurance Co. Inc. were of the five non-life insurance companies with the highest net worth.
The companies cited have been the leaders of the Philippine insurance industry for a considerable time, mainly because they have been strongly capitalized and well-managed. Barring any extraordinary industry developments, particularly in the number and caliber of the players, the industry leadership picture presented by the Insurance Commissioner in his latest report is likely to remain virtually unchanged in the foreseeable future.