May 2019

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6th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards open for nominations

The 6th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards (MIIA) 2019 are now open for nominations. The Awards this year features a new ‘Woman Leader of the Year’ category to recognise the significant contribution that women make to the insurance industry in MENA. 

MENA: GAIF sec-gen Abdul Khaliq R Khalil steps down, leaving behind a rich legacy

Mr Abdul Khaliq R Khalil has decided to step down as secretary general of the General Arab Insurance Federation (GAIF) after serving in the post for more than two decades. He will leave the post by the end of June 2019 while the GAIF board chooses a successor.

Middle East: Reinsurers refocus appetite for oil & gas business

The Middle East reinsurance market for oil-and-gas business underwent a process of change throughout 2018 and beginning of 2019, with many reinsurers refocusing their appetite towards risks of this nature as a consequence of poor underwriting results in the sector regionally, according to Willis Towers Watson (WTW).

GCC: Public sector jobs nearly all localised

Government jobs in the GCC have now almost completely been filled by locals while expats have been removed from such jobs, so the localisation policy is now being rolled out into the private sector, according to a report in Middle East Monitor.

GCC: Cancer incidence rate increases significantly

There was a large increase in cancer cases in GCC nations between 2008 and 2017, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Algeria: Insurance market saw marginal growth in 2018

The Algerian insurance market grew marginally at 2.2% with a turnover of DZD142.6bn ($1.2bn) in 2018 compared to 2017, according to the National Council of Insurance (CNA).

Algeria: Majority of auto claims paid involve vehicles less than 5 years old

A study by the Algerian Union of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (UAR) has shown that 60% of the total compensation paid by insurers due to road accidents involved owners of new vehicles that are aged up to five years old.

Algeria: Weak demand for public liability insurance products

With the exception of public liability insurance purchased for public carriers of goods, there are only occasional subscriptions for other forms of public liability insurance, said Mr Boudraa Abdelaziz, president of the Algerian Union of Insurance Brokers (UACA).

Bahrain: Insurance industry discusses VAT

Insurers should develop a consistent approach to industry-wide issues rather than developing individual stances that may or may not be accepted by the National Bureau of Revenue (NBR), Bahrain’s tax authority, according to Mr Omar Hisham, an adviser to the insurance industry.

Bahrain: FIFE launches exclusive Arabic ARM in MENA

The Foundation for Insurance and Finance Education (FIFE), based in Bahrain and Cyprus, hosted the inauguration of one of the largest risk management programmes in the US, the Associate in Risk Management Program (ARM) from The Institutes (USA), last March in Bahrain. The FIFE will be the exclusive agent for offering ARM in Arabic in MENA.

Egypt: Proposed new insurance law covers private insurance funds

Egypt’s proposed new insurance law aims to update standards and requirements for the formation and remuneration of members of the boards of directors of private insurance funds.

Egypt: Regulator updates statute governing insurance institute

The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has approved the reorganisation of the Insurance Institute in Egypt (IFE), involving amending the legislation covering the Institute.

Egypt: FRA issues decree on compulsory motor insurance consortium

The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has issued a decree establishing the compulsory motor insurance consortium, as well as a proposed cooperative insurer licensed to manage this branch of insurance on behalf of consortium members which are insurers.

Iran: Floods cause estimated economic losses of up to $3.6bn

Weeks of torrential rainfall have led to total economic losses unofficially estimated by local government officials at up to IRR150tn ($3.6bn), according to Aon.

Jordan: Complaint index calculated for motor insurers

The Insurance Department of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply, has published the latest Vehicle Insurance Complaints Index, as an indication of the best and worst motor insurers for 2018.

Jordan: Industry calls for establishment of independent insurance authority

The insurance industry has told lawmakers that an independent supervisory body is the most appropriate regulatory body for the insurance sector because it would have specialist cadres qualified to oversee all financial, technical and legal matters of the sector.

Jordan: Insurers push again for motor pricing liberalisation

Mr Majed Smairat, chairman of the Jordan Insurance Federation (JIF), has said that compulsory motor third party liability (CMTPL) insurance poses the biggest challenge to the insurance industry, as insurers continue to suffer huge losses in this branch.

Kuwait: Govt sets up committee to audit insurers

The Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of State for Services, Mr Khalid Al-Roudhan, has formed a committee to check the accounts of all insurers to ensure the validity of their financial transactions.

Morocco: Cabinet approves compensation scheme for catastrophic events

The Moroccan Cabinet has approved a draft decree on a scheme to cover the consequences of catastrophic events.

Morocco: Talks break down between intermediaries and insurers

The Moroccan Union of Insurance Agents and Brokers (UMAC) has announced the failure of talks with the Moroccan Federation of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (FMSAR).

Oman: Reinsurer to convert to public joint stock company

National reinsurer, Oman Reinsurance, has decided to convert from a closed joint stock company to a public joint stock company.

Oman: CMA releases details about scope of mandatory health scheme

The Capital Market Authority (CMA) has issued details of the Unified Health Insurance Policy (UHIP) under the mandatory health insurance scheme to be implemented for private sector employees, including expatriates and visitors to Oman.

Qatar: Central Bank issues licensing & other rules for insurance-related firms

The governor of the Central Bank of Qatar (CBQ) has issued a decree (Decree No. 7 of 2019) which includes instructions for the licensing, regulation and supervision of insurance-related service providers. The instructions took effect on 1 April.

Saudi Arabia: Motor insurers see $27m loss from cases of fraud & ignorance over 15 months

The insurance industry in Saudi Arabia suffered losses totalling SAR100m ($26.7m) from motor insurance fraud and customer ignorance, according to Dr Mohammed Sulaiman, CEO of Najm for Insurance Services Company, a leading traffic support and accident-related service provider in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia: Crackdown on fraudulent & unauthorised insurance sales

Action is being taken to curb the issuance of insurance policies by unauthorised parties and to raise public awareness about purchasing cover from legitimate insurers, agents and accredited intermediaries.

Tunisia: Structural issues affect insurance industry's profits

The Tunisian insurance industry is estimated to have posted a net profit of up to TND100m ($33.2m) for 2018, according to Mr Hafedh Gharbi, president of the insurance regulator, the General Insurance Committee (CGA).

Turkey: Umbrella trade body sets up committees to develop insurance agencies

The TOBB Insurance Agencies Executive Committee (SAIK) has established six committees to improve the profession in order to enable agencies to perform more effectively, systematically and efficiently.

UAE: Most expats lack realistic retirement plans

The majority of expat employees in the UAE lack realistic plans for securing a comfortable lifestyle when they retire, according to the results of a survey commissioned by Friends Provident International (FPI) and undertaken by market research and data analytics company YouGov.

UAE: Millennium Insurance Brokers expands to Abu Dhabi

Millennium Insurance Brokers has embarked on its regional expansion plans in the Gulf with the opening of its Abu Dhabi branch, the 30th in its global network of offices.

UAE: Auto premium discounts withdrawn from drivers with clean records

Insurance brokers said insurers have withdrawn discounts from accident-free drivers in the wake of motor insurance prices falling in recent months.

UAE: Financial advisory aggregator website launched

UAE-based research, consultancy and communications agency, Insight Discovery, has launched its end-to-end financial advisory aggregator website (WFA) that connects consumers and financial advisers.

UAE: IGI reports solid full-year 2018 results and shows higher GWP growth

International General Insurance Holdings (IGI) has reported earnings for the 2018 financial year, reflecting a strong recovery following its most expensive year for catastrophe losses on record in 2017.


EU sets guidelines for ethical AI, pilot phase to launch this summer

According to a Global Trends Study in 2017, the insurance industry invests an average of $124m per company in AI – that is $54m more than the average across all the industries surveyed. Insurers obviously see the potential for AI to influence things such as customer loyalty, fraud prevention and claims experience positively.

SIRC unveils theme for 2019 conference: Winds of Change

Preparations are well underway for the 16th Singapore International Reinsurance Conference (SIRC), which will take place from 29 October to 1 November 2019 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Reinsurance supply weathering the storm: Aon

Reinsurers continue to offer coverage and terms to insurers that show that reinsurance capital is weathering the storm of the prior few years’ catastrophe events, despite a reduction of 3% in total global reinsurance capital to $585bn at 31 December 2018, compared to 12 months previously, according to Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions.


Global: Islamic insurance contribution rates forecast to rise in next 2-3 years

Takaful premiums globally will keep rising moderately in the next two to three years, supporting profitability, said Moody’s Investors Service, with stronger regulations and increased compulsory cover helping to drive the growth.

Algeria: Takaful law expected to be enacted by year-end

A law governing takaful should be promulgated by the end of this year, according to National Insurance Company (SAA) CEO Nacer Sais.

Malaysia: FWD completes acquisition of 49% stake in HSBC Amanah Takaful

Hong Kong-headquartered insurer FWD Group is now the largest shareholder of HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia) after successfully acquiring a 49% stake in the Islamic insurance entity. 

Malaysia: Zurich Takaful collaborates with global app for Ramadan promotion

In the run-up to Ramadan, Zurich Takaful Malaysia has announced a collaboration with Muslim Pro, a dedicated mobile application catered to Muslims to help them practise their faith. It will provide its family takaful customers with a one-year premium access to the popular, globally recognised app. 

Malaysia: Unclaimed benefits worth over $72.6m

The insurance and takaful industry has more than MYR300m ($72.6m) worth of unclaimed benefits due to outdated records of policy and certificate holders, according to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) as reported by Bernama. 

Morocco: 24% of Moroccans willing to subscribe to takaful

A recent government study released last month indicates that 24% of Moroccans are ready to subscribe to takaful.

UAE: Takaful pushes premium growth into positive territory in 2018

Total gross written contributions chalked up by takaful firms in the UAE increased by 6% to AED3.7bn ($1bn), up from AED3.5bn in 2017, according to Mr Safder Jaffer, managing director & principal for Middle East & Africa at Milliman, a global provider of actuarial and related services.

UAE: Watania declared dividends for the first time since establishment

National Takaful Company (Watania) has approved a dividend payment of 5% to shareholders for the financial year ended 31 December 2018. This is the first time the company has declared dividends since its inception in 2011.