The Superintendencia de Bancos y Otras Instituciones Financieras (SIBOIF) (Nicaragua), Superintendencia del Sistema Financiero (SSF) (El Salvador) and Superintendencia de Bancos (Superban) (Guatemala) recently released insurance industry results for the first nine months of 2009. Taken together, the results confirm the significant impact that the global economic crisis, particularly as it has affected the United States, has negatively impacted Central American economies generally and insurance markets in particular.
In Nicaragua, the only of the three countries to see total premium growth year over year, total premiums grew 5.1% when comparing the first nine months of 2009 to the first nine months of 2008. This growth is down significantly from 2008, however, when the country saw 8.6% premium growth year over year. Total premiums for the first nine months of 2009 totaled US$ 83.3 million, with INISER (up 7.4%) and America (up 3.2%) sharing more than half of the market's total premium. Mundial's total premiums from the market are down 25.3% for the same period, while Metropolitana's are up 26.0%.
In El Salvador, total premiums fell 0.2% for the first nine months of 2009 compared to the first nine months of 2008, falling to US$ 304.2 million. These results mirrored those from August 2009, and are in stark contrast to the 11.4% year over year growth in total premiums seen in 2008. Indeed, prior to the global economic crisis, El Salvador had seen total premium growth rates of over 20% in January and February of 2008.
In Guatemala, total premiums fell 2.2% for the first nine months of 2009 compared to the first nine months of 2008, falling to US$ 339.6 million. This reversed a modest growth trend earlier in the year (4.2% as of March 31 and 2.8% as of June 30) and represents a significant fall-off from last year, when total premiums in the market grew 6.7% year over year.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.