FWD bullish on business ranking

Life insurer FWD Philippines is optimistic in improving its new business ranking in the next few years after its market share rose last year.

Life insurer FWD Philippines is optimistic in improving its new business ranking in the next few years after its market share rose last year.

“We feel that if we keep doing the right thing, we will continue to grow. And I hope that in a relatively short number of years, we will achieve our objective, which we’ve set many years ago — becoming the top five,” FWD President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes said in a roundtable on Tuesday.

Grimes said FWD now ranks No. 8 based on new business annual premium equivalent as reported by the Insurance Commission’s unaudited statistics for 2018. This is an improvement from FWD’s No. 11 ranking in 2017.

Grimes attributed the company’s improved ranking to its new business market share which rose to 4.84 percent from 3.5 percent in 2017.

“In just four full years of operations, FWD has successfully established itself as the industry challenger brand and cemented our status as one of the country’s fastest-growing insurers,” the Grimes said.

In terms of total premium, the company’s market share increased to 3.35 percent in 2018 from 2.24 percent in 2017. This came after FWD posted a P7.65 billion premium income last year, a record 68-percent increase from P4.55 billion in 2017.

FWD’s premium income growth rate was said to have outpaced the local life insurance industry’s 2018 growth of 13 percent by more than five times.

However, asked for their premium income growth outlook, Grimes admitted that FWD might post slower expansions because of high base effect.

“We expect slowdown in the growth because otherwise if you do the math, in three years we would be bigger than everybody else,” he said. “But I do feel that our products and services give us hope, and encouragement to continue to outperform,” Grimes added.

In 2018 alone, he stressed that FWD expanded its geographical footprint by ending the year with 3,300 insurance agents nationwide, including more than 100 Million Dollar Round Table members, up by almost 40 percent.

The company’s Bancassurance Financial Solutions Consultants sales force also continued to grow, enabling it to service more clients of Security Bank, FWD’s strategic bank distribution partner.

FWD Philippines also continued the expansion of its geographic reach, with the addition of six new business hubs in key locations across the country.

The additional business hubs include second offices in Cebu and Davao and new locations in Alabang, Imus, Malolos, and Pasig (Ortigas Center).

“As we aim higher and develop our business further, we’ll continue to pursue delivery of even more innovative customer propositions, enhanced customer experiences and service excellence to ultimately benefit more and more Filipino families,” Grimes said.

News Source: Manila Times