There’s something special about being a pioneer – being the first to visualize a goal and then achieve it. The Bahamas First General Insurance Company (Bahamas First) is the result of the pioneering vision of a group of entrepreneurial individuals who had a dream in 1982 to create the first locally-established general insurance company in The Bahamas. A company was envisioned that would put customers first, by providing innovative and customized insurance solutions through a strong network of authorized agents.
We know we can’t rest on our laurels. Looking to the future, we’ll be working hard to increase our leadership role in every aspect of the local insurance industry by: Reviewing and improving our product line to meet the changing needs of the marketplace. Further strengthening relationships with our independent brokers, and their extensive network of supporting subagents to expand our ability to deliver insurance products and services, especially in the Family Islands. Identifying new acquisition opportunities to continue to diversify our sources of business. Retaining superior balance sheet strength. Building on our well-earned reputation as a customer-focused organization that responds, especially in times of need. Continuing to invest in the training and development of our staff by providing them with a modern, comfortable working environment and the best available technology. Continuing to identify ways we can give back to the Bahamian community through sponsorship of social and cultural programs. Our goal is to focus on the critical areas of our business and operating principals that will enable us to remain Bahamas First. First in Insurance. Today. Tomorrow.
Operating an insurance company in The Bahamas can be a risky business. Potentially catastrophic weather is a constant threat that can result in millions of dollars in settlements being paid out, which can threaten a company’s ability to carry on business. Bahamas First has weathered many hurricanes with its financial strength intact, thanks to sound risk management practices mastered over more than 30 years serving the local community. We’re very proud that following the devastating hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004, Bahamas First was the first company in the local market and wider Caribbean to receive a financial strength rating of A- (excellent) affirmed by insurance rating agency A.M. Best , the industry’s weather-gauge for financial performance. A strong reinsurance program helped reduce our losses as a result of the hurricanes to a manageable level. And A.M. Best also recognized our solid capitalization, historically profitable operating results, conservative risk management strategies and leading market presence in their report.
Business leadership means meeting and exceeding the expectations of many groups and individuals including customers, employees, shareholders, business partners and government. It also demands becoming involved in an ongoing and meaningful way in the community. At Bahamas First we recognize our obligation to give back to the Bahamian community through our contribution to worthy social programmes and our corporate responsibility to the cultural fabric of the country. We contribute annually to a variety of organizations including the Bahamas Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Bahamas Heart Association and the Cancer Society of the Bahamas in recognition of the vital and important services and programmes which they provide. We are proud sponsors of Junkanoo and the Bahamas National Youth Choir. And many of our staff provide countless hours of volunteer time to various community organizations and causes. Our commitment is to continue to support programmes that make a difference in the community and enrich the lives of Bahamians.
The foundation of our business is built upon integrity and ethics. We know that our company is only as strong as our ongoing relationships with employees, customers, shareholders, agents, strategic partners and the community. That’s why we believe success demands a commitment to honest and ethical conduct by every member of our organization, every day. At Bahamas First, we believe that good corporate governance requires adherence to all domestic legal requirements and as such we fully comply with all relevant laws and regulations . We have developed a core compliance framework that gives each of our stakeholders the resources, training, guidance and tools necessary to make ethical and value-based decisions that will effectively minimize and manage the risks inherent to our business. From an internal perspective, we have implemented a Code of Business Conduct that guides our actions based on a set of Corporate Values intended to guarantee integrity, transparency, accountability and good corporate citizenship in all our dealings. We have implemented a Complaint Monitoring Policy to ensure we continually meet the expectations of all our stakeholders. While our strategies and business decisions may evolve in response to a changing marketplace, our demanding standards of conduct and our values will endure.
A.M. Best Company is a worldwide insurance-rating and information agency that issues in-depth reports and financial strength ratings about insurance organizations. A Best's Rating is an independent evaluation that subjects all insurers to the same rigorous criteria, providing a valuable benchmark for comparing insurers, no matter where they are based or operate. This is increasingly important in an international market that looks for stability in the face of widespread deregulation, mergers, acquisitions and other factors. For insurance companies, a favorable Best's Rating is a strategic tool that can enhance consumer confidence in the organization's stability, as well as its attractiveness to investors. Insurance professionals depend on Best's Ratings to evaluate prospective reinsurance accounts, to compare company performance and financial condition, and more. And Best's Ratings provide consumers with the information necessary to make educated insurance buying decisions. Every year since 1999 Bahamas First has earned a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) which is only assigned to companies with an excellent ability to meet their ongoing obligations to policyholders. We were the first insurance company in the Bahamas to be awarded an excellent rating and we’re fiercely determined to maintain this level of performance in the future.