Sri Lanka low general insurance rates may end

May 3, 2011 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's insurers who have been competing aggressively on price despite making underwriting losses, may be forced to re-think their strategy, if investment income falls amid lower interest rates, an industry official said.
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Sri Lanka's general insurance businesses have been making underwriting losses, but bottom lines have been propped up with investment income from reserves.
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"Achieving underwriting profitability in general insurance is one of the biggest challenges we are facing in the industry," Manjula de Silva, chief executive of HNB Assurance, a unit of Sri Lanka's Hatton National Bank said.

"There is so much of competition, which works to the benefit of the public.

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I don't think the public is complaining.
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This is one market in which prices are coming down each year.
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With interest rates heading lower, investment income was starting drop.

"At one time large underwriting losses were cushioned by healthy investment yields," de Silva said.

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"But today interest rates are dropping and insurance companies are compelled to look at their underwriting results.

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HNB Assurance was taking measures to push up investment income by actively trading on its bond and equity portfolios. De Silva said next

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