I am pleased to report that in 2013, Professional Insurance achieved record results, placing us well on track of our road-map strategic objective, of remaining financially sound and profitable, in order to efficiently meet our obligations to our customers in terms of claims, which is a top priority for us. This success is based, in part, on our proven strategy, which we continue to systematically pursue and implement. Our aim is to be the preferred general insurance provider for our customers and suppliers both in Zambia and across the globe. We shall continue to leverage on our special combination of local presence and global exposure as we remain focused on being market leaders for many years to come.
This performance is not only a testament to our strategic position and capabilities, but it is also a result of the dedication and expertise of our more than one hundred staff around the country, the discipline of our management systems, guidance from our very competent Board of Directors and the visionary Shareholders who have been extremely supportive of our vision and strategic direction. More importantly it reflects the impact of a distinct choice that our customers have made by electing to do business with us, not forgetting our esteemed brokers and agents. Our excellent and financially strong panel of world-class reinsurance companies, led by Munich Re, provides the foundations on which we are able to offer responsible and reliable insurance. Professional Insurance is an innovative company, both in what we do and in how we do it. We pursue continuous transformation – always remixing to higher value in our portfolio and skills, in the capabilities we deliver to our customers and in our own operations and management practices. This is not the only path to success in our industry, and it is not the easiest one – but it is ours, our way of doing things, we believe that a good insurer must live with changing times and in tandem with the ever changing needs of their customers, we believe that a good insurer must understand the unique needs of their customers so as to consistently match solutions to those specific needs. We do not believe in the ‘one size fits all’ mentality. At the same time, we believe that a good insurer needs to invest time and resources to hire and train staff, who are knowledgeable, competent, courteous, friendly, helpful and trustworthy when facing customers. In 2013, good progress was made in terms of training our key staff both locally and abroad, so as to strategically place them in a position that enables them to deliver to the expectations of our esteemed customers and beyond.
Allow me to share some of the key highlights of our financial performance in 2013:
The Corporation maintained its credit rating of A+ by Global Credit Rating Co. (Pty) Ltd and remains the biggest and most financially sound insurer on the Zambian market today.
Our vision and mission ‘to become a world class provider of short term insurance by consistently providing quality service’, is, in our view, beneficial for our customers and for ourselves. Our success in the general insurance market in Zambia is a clear testimony that our vision and strategy is working.
The corporation grew profits faster than revenue, as we had committed to utilizing our operating model of disciplined decision making, sound portfolio management, strong operational execution, and a focus on driving profitable growth. In addition, we redefined our business model by rearranging our offerings into three lines, being personal lines and small and medium enterprises, corporate solutions and specialized risks. This enabled us to become closer to our customers and it enabled us to have a more focused way of responding to our ever-changing customers’ needs.
In conclusion, I wish to announce that we launched the ‘Gold Club’ on the 13th of March, 2014. This is a comprehensive loyalty program – the first of the kind in the insurance industry in Zambia. Membership is available to all our customers who have been on our books for at least five (5) consecutive years. Among other benefits, members of the club are accorded fast track claims service status and they enjoy same day claims settlement service for five categories of claims. In addition, they have an option to receive 50% of all admissible claims within 48 hours of notification – another first in the history of the insurance sector in Zambia.
Let me end by saluting all those that have contributed to our great results in 2013 – our customers, brokers, agents, our ever dedicated and competent staff, the Board of Directors and our Shareholders.
For those of you who are not yet our customers, we are keen to welcome you on board and we believe this is the best time for you to make that wise decision.
We have been tried and tested and we have a track record that is unmatched.
I wish all of you a prosperous 2014.
BA (Hons), FLMI, FIIZA, ACII, ACS, AFSI, AIAA, AIRC, ARA, CCW
MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO