Claims Toll

March 12, 2007 (LBO) – Union Assurance net profits fell 41 percent in 2006, with high claims bill taking its toll, but gross premiums grew by 28 percent, the company’s annual accounts showed. The firm’s net profit after tax fell to 155 million rupees from 262 million of 2005.

The surplus from life insurance activities was 75.5 million rupees, down from 144 million in 2005.

The 2005 result represented two years of life insurance profits since the company did not declare a surplus for the year 2004 as the impact of tsunami claims was not available when the 2004 were accounts were finalized, Chairman Ajit Gunewardene told shareholders.

On the life side, gross premiums rose to 1.7 billion rupees, up 15 percent. In 2006, 287 million rupees were paid as claims and benefits on maturing policies.

At year end, the life insurance fund amounted to 5.5 billion rupees recording a 22 percent increase over the 2005 fund value of 4.6 billion, Chief Executive Marina Tharmaratnam said.

General insurance brought in 83 million rupees in profits and with premiums rising 39 percent to 2.4 billion rupees.

In 2006 the firm had paid 1,093 million in claims (736 million in 20