Thin Ice

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Sri Lanka’s tiny Rs. 17 bn insurance industry needs to ‘tighten up its act’ on regulation and solvency margins, after the recent tsunami left behind Rs. 15 bn worth of claims, a research analyst warned. Sri Lanka’s tiny Rs. 17 bn insurance industry needs to ‘tighten up its act’ on regulation and solvency margins, after the recent tsunami left behind Rs. 15 bn worth of claims, a research analyst warned. Buddhika Piyasena, Vice President Fitch Ratings Lanka says the regulators should keep close tabs on non-life operations in order to avoid undue risk exposure and to safeguard policyholders’ interest.

General insurance, which has grown by over 17 percent over the last six years, largely consists of motor (46 percent), fire (20 percent) and marine (seven percent). The sector is largely de-tariffed, except workmen’s compensation, and competition is stiff.

However, the profitability and capital position of different market players vary significantly. The former state-owned firms are saddled with high expense ratios, while some of the large private sector players operate with very low levels of capital.

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