GIC Re targets domestic growth after strong April 1 renewals: Chairman, Narayanan

India’s General Insurance Corporation (GIC Re) continues to focus on growth within its domestic portfolio following strong April 1 2024 renewals, says Ramaswamy Narayanan, Chairman & MD of GIC Re, in an interview with CNBC TV18.

At GIC Re’s April 1 renewals, its domestic portfolio witnessed substantial growth, increasing by nearly 30%. Narayanan expects this growth to contribute to a 10-12% overall increase in the reinsurer’s net premium earned for the current financial year.

Narayanan explains that GIC Re is currently prioritising the expansion of its domestic book over its international one. Consequently, its international book remained flat at the January 1 2024 renewals.

He states, “we have not really grown our international book because we still wanted to consolidate there to ensure that the business that we are writing is good. We also need to get our international credit rating to a level where we are able to attract and write the best businesses available in that market.”

Narayanan continues, “Currently, the focus is more on the domestic book. And that is where we are planning to grow and that’s certainly grown in this positive renewals by about 30%.”

Looking ahead to the 24/25’FY, GIC Re’s domestic book will constitute 75% of the total, with the remaining 25% comprising its international portfolio.

However, Narayanan notes that if the company does expand its international book within the next year, the growth will become visible in the 2025/26’FY.

When questioned about GIC Re’s underwriting profitability outlook, Narayanan attributed the unprofitable combined ratio to nine catastrophic events affecting the Indian market, particularly since its domestic portfolio comprises most of its book.

Despite this, Narayanan expressed optimism about the improvement of the combined ratio: “Nine months in FY’24 we showed a combined of 117%. It’s still pretty early to actually give you a figure, but we do believe that will improve going forward in the fourth quarter, simply because that is the quarter in which internationally you don’t see that many catastrophic events happening.”

“Going forward, with the kind of businesses that we have written , we are very confident that our combined ratios will improve,” he adds.

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