BF&M’s full-year net income rises to $20.2m
BF&M posted net income of $20.2 million for 2018, up from $3.7 million the year before.
The insurer said gross premiums written totalled $352.6 million, an increase of 7 per cent over 2017.
Short-term claims and adjustment expenses decreased 25.8 per cent to $25.6 million. Catastrophe losses had significantly impacted claims reported in 2017.
BF&M made an investment loss of $7.9 million for the year, reflecting a significant decrease in the fair value of investments for the period. This compared with investment income of $19.1 million in 2017.
As a result of the company's disciplined asset-liability matching policy, which looks to limit volatility of reported earnings as a result of interest-rate swings, BF&M reported a $5.2 million net gain on the difference between the fair value of investments that support certain liabilities and reported reserves.
The company said operating expenses fell 8.6 per cent to $60.3 million.
John Wight, BF&M's chief executive officer, said: “Our earnings were driven by the solid performance of both the life and health business and property and casualty operations, with continued support from income on non-insurance operations.
“Despite coming on the heels of the year that saw the most destructive storm activity ever seen by the Caribbean in 2017, we began 2018 in a strong financial position, thanks to our robust reinsurance programme and sound capital management.
“AM Best validated our strategy and balance sheet strength by once again affirming our ratings, the strongest held by a domestic insurance group in Bermuda and the Caribbean.”
Equity attributable to shareholders at December 2018 was $276.7 million, up from $261.1. General fund assets totalled $1.2 billion of which $160.7 million was held in cash and cash equivalents.
BF&M said commission and other income increased from 2017 by 14.2 per cent to $53.7 million. The 2017 hurricanes continued to negatively impact commission income, but the impact was offset by additional reinsurance coverage and higher levels of proportional reinsurance ceded due to changes in the insurer's reinsurance programme and profit share reported on non-property business.
Life and health policy benefits decreased by 17.9 per cent to $93.3 million.
“Life and health policy benefits” includes changes in life insurance reserves which decreased significantly in 2018 compared with a significant increase in 2017 in the same period.
These reserve movements were primarily driven by differences in market interest rates over the respective periods.