ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF MAICO
The year is 1978. It is two years after Anguilla received its first ministerial constitution in 1976 and two years before its constitutional separation from St. Kitts and Nevis in December 1980. A group of young Anguillians establish the Malliouhana Development Cooperative Society Limited (MDCS), “The Coop” for the promotion of small businesses.
The Coop considers setting up ventures that require limited capital, one such an insurance agency. At the time, motor vehicle insurance is provided by Anguilla Mutual Assurance Company, mainly to Third Party Act Only. J. N. Gumbs Agency representing Lloyds of London provides motor vehicle and property insurance coverage. There is no life insurance agent resident in Anguilla. Holders of life insurance policies and those desirous of purchasing life insurance are serviced by visiting agents and by correspondence.
The Coop decides to go forward with the insurance agency. The vision is to grow the agency to the point where it would be feasible to establish a modern competitive Anguillian owned insurance company on the agency’s foundation. A ten year period was envisaged in which the agency should have grown sufficiently to make it feasible to set up an insurance company.
1979: An agency agreement is made between the Coop and National Caribbean Insurance Company Limited from St. Kitts. Malliouhana Cooperative Insurance Services begins business selling the motor vehicle, property and life insurance products offered by that company.
1983: National Caribbean ends the agreement and sets up its own office in Anguilla. The Coop does not give up.
An agency agreement is made with Netherlands Antilles General Insurance Corporation N.V. (NAGICO), of St. Maarten, whose name is now National General Insurance Corporation N.V. Malliouhana Cooperative Insurance Services continues in business. The Coop informs NAGICO during the negotiations of its long term aim to promote an Anguillian insurance Company. The agency agreement takes this into account.
1985: National Bank of Anguilla is established and commences trading in March, having acquired the assets of the Anguilla Branch of Bank of America.
1988: The Coop commissions a study of the feasibility of establishing an Anguillian owned insurance company. The consultant finds that it is not feasible to establish a locally owned insurance company. The Coop notes the consultant’s finding.
1989: A decision to proceed with the creation of such an Anguillian insurance company is taken by the Coop. National Bank of Anguilla (NBA), Caribbean Commercial Bank (CCB) and Anguilla Mutual Assurance Company Limited are approached to invest in the proposed insurance company.
Malliouhana Insurance Company Limited (MICO) is established the first half of 1989. Its shareholders are The CCB, the Coop and Anguilla Mutual.
NBA establishes Anguilla National Insurance Company Limited (ANICO) a few months later. The National Investment Company of Anguilla (NICA) also invests in ANICO.
1994: MICO and ANICO have been competing for five years. In that time the merger of the two companies is quietly and persistently promoted. The shareholders of the two companies approve a merger and appoint a committee to implement it.
The merger committee works out necessary arrangements and agreements. MICO’s and ANICO’s shareholders approve them. The merger is closed at the end of December. MICO and ANICO transform into Malliouhana-ANICO Insurance Company (MAICO), owned by CCB, NBA, the Coop, NICA and Anguilla Mutual, five shareholders.
1995: MAICO commences business on January 2. Everything is going well. From September 4 – 6, Hurricane Luis pounds Anguilla. Property damage claims are made on MAICO of over EC$8 million. MAICO reclaims from its re-insurers in keeping with its reinsurance treaties. Not quite half of the amount is paid by reinsurers. About EC$4.5 million is not paid because the reinsurer responsible perpetrated the largest insurance fraud in the London insurance market at that time. MAICO absorbs an EC$ 4.5 million loss less than a year after its creation but meets its obligations to its customers.
1998: Three shareholders invest in MAICO, the Apex Group of Companies and Island Car Rental in Anguilla and from St. Kitts, the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Trading and Development Company Limited, TDC, increasing the shareholders to eight.
1999: Hurricane Lenny strikes. MAICO meets all hurricane claim obligations without suffering financial losses. All of its reinsurers meet their obligations to MAICO.
2002: MAICO finally erases all accumulated losses arising from Hurricane Luis and looks forward to a period of significant and rapid growth.
2005: MAICO takes a decision to build a headquarters that would bring pride to its owners, customers and the people of Anguilla. Iain Smith, architect, is commissioned to develop the concept, prepare design and detailed drawings, supervise the award of the construction contract and the execution of the works.
Orchard Romney and Beck (ORB) are contracted to build the headquarters. Construction of the three storey headquarters building commences at the end of 2005.
2007: ORB completes construction of the headquarters and hands it over to MAICO.
MAICO has enjoyed five years of continuous and increasingly profitable growth. It has achieved and maintained the distinction of being the leading provider of motor vehicle insurance with close to 50% of the market. At the same time, MAICO has enjoyed steady growth in its property insurance portfolio becoming a major player in this market segment.
2008: MAICO moves into its headquarters in March.
The next chapter in MAICO’s evolution commences.