Scotia General Insurance hiring staff
The Scotia Group is hiring staff for its general insurance agency.

SCOTIA General Insurance Agency Limited is beginning to build out its staff compliment as it prepares for its market entry later this year.

Scotia Group Jamaica Limited (SGJ) President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Audrey Tugwell Henry had announced at the company's annual general meeting (AGM) in March that it would be entering the general insurance market. While she didn't give any specifics as to the route of entry, she did note that more information would be provided following regulatory approval from the Financial Services Commission (FSC).

Her presentation also listed a focus on digital sales and continued focus on the Scotia Bridge IRA (individual retirement account) product. Scotia Jamaica Life Insurance Company (SJLI) launched Scotia Elevate in May, which is a universal life insurance policy with an investment option in the three funds. SJLI is one of six life insurance companies in the market and offers ordinary, long-term insurance.

When the Jamaica Observer checked the Companies Office of Jamaica's website, it was revealed that Scotia General was incorporated on December 30 with 'insurance agent" listed as its core activity. The Bank of Nova Scotia (Jamaica) Limited (BNSJ) was listed as the sole shareholder with 50,000 ordinary shares. Vice-President for Insurance in the Caribbean, Central America and Uruguay Eric Erkelens and Tugwell Henry are listed as the current directors, with former Head of Wealth Management and Insurance Adrian Stokes listed as a former director who ceased office on February 18. Current senior legal counsel at SGJ Richard Fraser is listed as the company secretary. Fraser demits office on July 14. SJLI is a wholly owned subsidiary of BNSJ.

On Monday a post was made on LinkedIn advertising for a general insurance advisor for Scotia General in Jamaica. The position's primary functions were listed as driving direct sales to customers, fulfilling referrals from bank sales officers, and providing customer service throughout the relationship. The resume for interested applicants should be submitted by tomorrow.

The FSC's bulletin on insurance agents (corporate) states, "the agent plays a vital role between the insurance company and the client, not only by way of offering an insurance product but also through their services such as offering advice and coordinating the administration of claims".

The bulletin states that the insurance agent or assurance agent must be listed in the company's name unless the FSC permits otherwise. Upon registration, agents are required to effect Errors and Omission (Professional Indemnity) and Fidelity Guarantee insurance coverage of $30 million within 45 days. The applicant should be sufficiently capitalised to the maximum deductible of the insurance coverage, or $5 million. The FSC application should also include a business plan, with a three-year projection of premium generation and commission income on a class by class basis.

The FSC's most recent insurance intermediary list shows 13 firms registered as corporate insurance agents. Sagicor International Administrators Limited is involved in sickness and health while NCB Insurance Agency and Fund Managers Limited (NCBIA) is involved in sickness and health plus ordinary long term. NCBIA transitioned to its current business after it sold its insurance and annuities business to Guardian Life Limited (GLL). NCBIA exclusively sells the life insurance products of GLL which also includes prior products such as Omni Educator and ProCare.

The 11 general insurance companies at the end of December made up 21 per cent or $103.2 billion of the insurance sector's total assets. The general insurance sector earned $53.3 billion in premium income for 2021 and earned net profit of $$5.8 billion. The return on capital for the sector was 11.7 per cent in 2021.

SGJ's insurance services segment earned 22 per cent more in revenue of $2.52 billion and saw a 28 per cent rise in profit before tax to $1.73 billion, for the six months ending April 30. The improved revenue was attributed to improved cross-selling initiatives. It had segment assets of $59.46 billion and liabilities of $46.50 billion.

DAVID ROSE

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