Clarke welcomes Massy's insurance arm to Jamaica


Clarke welcomes Massy's insurance arm to Jamaica

Senior staff reporter

Friday, March 15, 2019

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M inister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, has welcomed the Massy Group's investment in the new Massy United Insurance Jamaica (MUI), as further evidence of the growing interest of overseas investors in Jamaica' economy.

Dr Clarke told Wednesday night's launch of the MUI, at the Pan Jamaican building in New Kingston, that it was more proof that Jamaica is experiencing “the best times, economically”.

“When an organisation like the Neal & Massy Group, that has the opportunity to invest anywhere they want, (because) they are in over 19 markets — they can go north, they can go south, they can go east, they can go west — but they choose to set up operations in the insurance business, which is a business that takes risks: This is not a shop, it is a business that comes to Jamaica to take risks,” Clarke noted.

“It tells you that they, like us, smell opportunity, and it is my job to welcome them to Jamaica,” the minister went on, as he urged the crowd at the launch to give Massy a round of applause.

Massy United Insurance (MUI), a Massy Group (formerly Neal & Massy) subsidiary, officially entered the local general insurance market on Wednesday with the launch.

The self-made insurance company, with geographic diversifications unique to the region, opened its doors in the Pan Jam building at 60 Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston, with a red carpet event with cocktails, lots of food and steel band music in the background.

However, it is no stranger to Jamaica as its parent company, Neal & Massy, operated for a number of years in Jamaica's food and drug distribution sector, and currently three of its subsidiaries — Massy Gas, Massy Distribution and Massy Technologies — operate in Jamaica.

The Massy Group's insurance arm boasts prides itself on having diverse knowledge and experience in claims handling and management garnered over the years from their regional footprint. MUI is currently represented in 19 territories in the region via branches and agent network.

The company has successfully responded to several hurricanes, earthquakes and flooding and other catastrophes in the region for more than 40 years, and boasts that no other insurance company has this experience with claims handling.

“The most recent demonstration of this was the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, where more than 1200 customers in nine markets were paid US$275 million. Massy says it settled 80 per cent of those claims within three months of reporting

In fact, it will be the only general insurance company in Jamaica with a financial rating from an international rating agency, as it currently holds a rating of A- (excellent), which was reaffirmed for 13 consecutive years by AM Best.

Randy Graham, CEO of MUI, says that the Massy Group has a reputation of success and has been a trailblazer in several service industries.

“Our decision to introduce insurance to Jamaica has come at a time when natural disasters are becoming more unpredictable, and insurance is so necessary and critical. We believe in providing security for Jamaica and Jamaicans. We have all the packages and policies to suit any need,” he added.

David O'Brien, chairman of MUI and executive vice-president of the Massy Group, noted that MUI has maintained strategic relationships over the years with some of the most reputable reinsurers in the world.

He said that despite suffering a financial loss as a result of Irma and Maria in 2017, the company was able to maintain its AM Best A- rating, and went on to generate US$4.5 million last year.

“This demonstrates that we have the organisational and financial capacity necessary to respond to a major catastrophe within the region, pay legitimate claims in high amounts quickly and continue our operations with a strong balance sheet, bringing confidence and peace of mind to our clients,” he pointed out.

He said that MUI was not only focused on providing excellent general insurance coverage but, as responsible corporate citizens, are robust in their support of community projects.

“We will therefore remain committed to improving social cohesion within the territories in which we operate, including Jamaica,” he said.

Dr Clarke also welcomed the increased competition that MUI is expected to be to the local general insurance landscape.

“We want competition in the insurance sector, because competition ensures that customers get the best prices,” the minister said.

Other speakers at the launch included MUI's country manager, Peter Graham, and branch manager Winsome Gibbs.

The vote of thanks was moved by Mark Sommerville, Massy's chief commercial officer.

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