Jun 2018

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MENA: FAIR explores creating P&I club

The Federation of Afro-Asian Insurers & Reinsurers (FAIR) is studying the feasibility of establishing a P&I club.

MENA: DIFC Insurance Association to produce regional mortality tables

The DIFC Insurance Association (DIFC IA) has launched a project on the development of standard mortality tables for the GCC and the MENA region.

Middle East: Heart attack and cancer remain top causes for claims

Cardiovascular disease and cancer remain the top causes for claims, with 71% of women claiming due to cancer, and 52% of men claiming on cardiovascular disease, said Zurich International Life in a report based on its analysis of claims data for 2015 to 2017.

GCC: Aon Risk Map outlines potential sources of greater instability

The ongoing blockade of Qatar, unrest in the Qatif region in Saudi Arabia and continued intervention in the Yemeni civil war are all potential sources of greater instability if progress toward resolutions are not made, said the Terrorism & Political Violence Map 2018 co-produced by Aon and The Risk Advisory Group.

GCC: Tackling differences in rating scales for insurers

The difference in rating scales and the underlying methodology of rating agencies often make insurance financial strength ratings across agencies incomparable at the ‘A-’ rating level, particularly for small-sized insurers with total capital below $250m, said a report by Insurance Monitor.

Algeria: Caarama Assurance posted record-breaking turnover of $18.2m in 2017

Bahrain: Property owners in Northern Governorate must insure buildings for fires

The Northern Municipal Council has introduced a rule in the Northern Governorate, one of four governorates in Bahrain, requiring property owners to insure multi-storey residential buildings for fires and other risks.

Egypt: FRA proposes to increase insurers' equity investments to 40% of total portfolio

The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) is proposing to increase the proportion of an insurance or reinsurance company’s investments in stocks and shares to 40% of the total investments of the company. The current cap is 30%.

Egypt: Profits soared 68% to $237m in FY17

The Egyptian insurance market reported profits of EGP4.2bn ($237.3m) for the financial year ended 30 June 2017 (FY17), 68% higher than the EGP2.5bn posted for FY16.

Egypt: Call for efforts to develop microinsurance broking

Insurers wishing to provide microinsurance services should encourage intermediaries to engage in microinsurance brokerage activities by offering incentives, said Mr Hassan Abaza, general manager of marketing and business development at Misr Takaful Insurance.

Egypt: Lockton expands regional footprint with opening of Cairo office

Lockton Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has continued the expansion of its regional footprint with the launch of its new Cairo office as the company looks to take advantage of the strengthening Egyptian economy.

Egypt: Heavy rains estimated to cost millions of EGP in property losses

Rare heavy rainfall hit the Egyptian capital and other parts of the country in late April, flooding streets, submerging cars and damaging property.

Iran: Sanctions re-imposed by the US to affect shipping insurance

The re-imposition of US sanctions against Iran, following President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US was withdrawing from a nuclear treaty with the Persian Gulf country, is likely to have ‘significant ramifications’ for maritime trade with Iran, and the insurance of such trade.

Iran: Insurance regulator promotes cyber cover

The Central Insurance of Iran (CII), the industry’s regulator, is welcoming offers by Iranian insurers to provide coverage against cyber attacks.

Iran: Industry shifts to using euro

Iran’s insurance industry is shifting towards the use of the euro both at home and abroad, in a move which is aligned with the country’s overall strategy to sideline the US dollar in its financial dealings for the past few years.

Kuwait Re unveils new identity; ratings affirmed

Kuwait Re has unveiled its new corporate identity, underlining its strategy and vision to be a reinsurer of choice. Its new logo reflects the company’s three main values of: being dynamic, inclusive and solid.

Morocco: Insurance premiums to exceed $7.4bn by 2023

A new road map for the insurance industry, currently being prepared, projects that annual premiums will hit MAD70bn ($7.4bn) to MAD80bn by 2023. In comparison, the total turnover of the Moroccan insurance sector was close to MAD40bn in 2017.

Morocco: State-owned reinsurer SCR goes to Rwanda

Morocco-headquartered Société Centrale de Réassurance (SCR) is expanding its reach in Africa. After the opening of a regional office in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, the reinsurer has obtained approval to open an office in Kigali in Rwanda.

Oman: Insurance sector expects an average 12% annual growth to 2021

The insurance market in Oman is projected to grow at the fastest annual average pace of 12.1% in the period until 2021.

Turkey: Generali and Turkish Post join forces to offer pension plans

Turkish Post and Telegraph Organization (PTT) and Italian insurer Generali will form an insurance company that will offer individual pension plans.

Turkey: European insurers concerned about MTPL measures

The Turkish regulatory framework for motor third party liability (MTPL) insurance saw significant changes over the past year that have raised high concerns for foreign reinsurers operating in Turkey as they prevent reinsurers from placing business on an economic basis and in line with appropriate business and risk management practices, said Insurance Europe.

Turkey: Govt makes liability insurance for marine pollution mandatory

The Undersecretariat of the Treasury has announced coverage amounts for ‘compulsory financial liability insurance for marine pollution by coastal facilities’. The required coverage amounts are published in the Official Gazette and have hence entered into force.

UAE: Unified Motor Policy increased premiums by up to 40%

The new Unified Motor Policy introduced from 1 January 2017 is said to have raised the cost of motor insurance in the UAE by as much as 30-40%, while loss ratios were seen to drop to roughly 65-75% in FY17 from 80-90% in FY16, according to a report on the impact of the policy.

UAE: Two new DHA units established to further enhance healthcare services

UAE: Insurance sector wants fire insurance added to tenancy agreements

Executives and managers of insurers have proposed the inclusion of fire insurance cover in home contents and civil liability insurance as a term and condition in rental agreements in light of the weak demand for this product.

UAE: Insurance and securities regulators ink cooperation pact

The UAE Insurance Authority (IA) and the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) have signed an MoU to establish mutual cooperation between the two parties to enhance the standard of financial services and develop the insurance sector and capital market in the country.

UAE: Call to promote primary healthcare to cut insurance costs

The practice of allowing patients to consult costly specialists for basic medical care needs to end, said top medical professionals in the UAE. Instead, general practitioners (GPs) have to be put at the heart of the UAE’s healthcare system to detect illnesses earlier and build a culture of check-ups and healthy lifestyles.

UAE: Insurance aggregator Aqeed raises $18m, launches officially, an insurance aggregator in the region, is now ‘live’, after having raised $18m from its corporate shareholders in a landmark Series A round of funding. 

UAE: Nasco invests in training for employees

Nasco Insurance Group has launched its in-house Training Academy to develop and enhance the skills and business acumen of its employees. 

UAE: ADNIC's 1Q net profit surged 28.6% to $26m

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) has posted a net profit of AED95.2m ($25.9m) for 1Q18, up 28.6% over the same period last year. 

UAE: Now Health launches 24/7 service hub in Dubai

Now Health International Group, a leading international private medical insurance (IPMI) provider, has enhanced its operating model to deliver a new 24/7 flexible service hub in Dubai, as part of its ongoing global expansion plans.

UAE: 4 in 5 low-income migrants lack access to insurance

Nearly 79% of low income migrant workers in the UAE do not have access to proper insurance cover and suffer from other social insecurities such as job loss and fear of not being able to provide for their families, among other concerns.


Insurers' outlook on investments turns bleak

Insurers have become more pessimistic about the current investment environment, with 50% of those polled in a survey saying they felt opportunities are getting worse, up from 36% last year.

Guy Carpenter licenses the industry's first cyber risk modelling platform

Guy Carpenter has produced the industry’s first cyber risk modelling platform with an inside-out view of cyber exposure through its two-year strategic partnership with CyberCube Analytics. 

Major reinsurers see combined net income of $4bn in 2017

The traditional reinsurance sector as a whole continued to make money last year. Net income across 21 major reinsurers comprising the Aon Benfield Aggregate (ABA) stood at $4bn, contributing toward a 2.5% increase in total equity to $204bn at 31 December 2017.

Insurers in Africa to benefit from economic recovery

Confidence is returning to Africa’s insurance market, according to the third Africa Insurance Barometer launched at the 45th Conference & General Assembly of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) in Accra, Ghana in May. 


Bahrain: Govt needs to take lead in takaful training

The public’s awareness of the features of takaful and its differences with conventional insurance should be raised, according to a new survey by the Bahrain-based General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (GCIBAFI).

Bahrain: t'azur to strengthen its takaful plans

Malaysia: Syarikat Takaful's 1Q net profit up 23% to $17.6m

Syarikat Takaful Malaysia’s (STM) 1Q net profit was above forecasts, accounting for 32% of CIMB Equities Research’s full-year forecast and Bloomberg consensus estimate, reported The Star. The variance to its forecasts mainly came from lower-than-expected management expenses and tax rates – 18% in 1Q18 as compared to its previous forecast of 24% for FY18. 

Morocco: Call to accelerate introduction of takaful rules

The authorities in Morocco are urged to accelerate the process of introducing a regulatory framework for takaful, given the high expectations of Islamic insurance especially from banking clients who demand takaful coverage, said Mr Koudama Zeroual, managing director of Takaful Insurance – Wafa Assurance.

Kuwait: Islamic Development Bank provides $250,000 to IFSB to promote Islamic finance

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) signed a technical assistance (TA) grant agreement which allows the IFSB to implement its strategic performance plan to further develop the Islamic financial services industry. 

Saudi Arabia: SAMA issues draft rules to attract foreign takaful operators

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has published draft rules of licensing and operation of branches for foreign insurers and reinsurers wanting to set up business in the kingdom. 

Saudi Arabia: Salama opens first claims centre for female drivers

Salama Insurance opened Saudi Arabia’s first auto insurance claims centre for women, in preparation for the implementation of a royal decree allowing women to drive, reported Saudi Gazette. 

Saudi Arabia: Tenfold increase in health insurance complaints in 2017

The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance received 53,000 complaints in 2017 compared to 5,283 complaints recorded in 2016, reported Saudi Gazette. The majority of the complaints – 91.3% – were made against insurers with a total of 48,578 against 56 medical claims management companies, 1,279 complaints against providers of healthcare services, and 3,213 complaints against employers. 

UAE: National Takaful (Watania) receives bb+ rating

National Takaful Company (Watania) has received a long-term issuer credit rating (long-term ICR) of ‘bb+’ and a financial strength rating (FSR) of ‘B’ (Fair) from A.M. Best. 

UAE: BOK International Bank to launch new Islamic banking products

Abu Dhabi-based BOK International Bank (BOKI) has assigned Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) as its shariah advisor to launch new Islamic banking products in the country. Under the new contract, SRB will provide BOKI with a shariah board, certification and shariah audit services for its products and new lines of business. 

UAE: Takaful Emarat launches new brand to mark 10th anniversary

Takaful Emarat has unveiled a new corporate identity – in conjunction with its 10th anniversary – to reflect its growing business and digital transformation. 

UK: AXA partners Cobalt to launch shariah-compliant real estate product

AXA Insurance has teamed up with Cobalt Underwriting to create a new insurance product for the real-estate sector, as part of AXA’s strategy of “bringing relevant new products to under-served sections” of the insurance market. AXA said it has devised new accounting and claims processes that are shariah-compliant and this policy will be distributed through brokers.