Oct 2019

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MENA: 45 make it to finals of 6th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards

A total of 45 insurers, reinsurers, brokers, risk managers, service providers and industry leaders have made it to the finals of the 6th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards (MIIA), edging out more than 300 other entries in the first round of judging.

MENA: Health insurers looking at value-based pricing

Affordability and value-based pricing are driving innovative payment schemes in the regional healthcare insurance sector, as governments in MENA introduce mandatory health insurance and encourage funding from the private sector.

MENA: Region to witness most productive years due to favourable demographics

The most favourable demographic dividend period for MENA is between now and 2040, when an unprecedentedly large proportion of its population will transition into their most productive years and the dependency ratio is predicted to be the lowest.

Africa: New secretary general takes helm at AIO

Mr Jean Baptiste Ntukamazina has taken over the duties as the new secretary general of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO), succeeding Ms Prisca Soares who will continue with the organisation as an adviser.

Bahrain: Regulator reviews motor insurance requirements with insurers

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has required insurers to provide motor policyholders with original vehicle spare parts for their damaged vehicles in the event that they cannot provide used spare parts that are in good condition.

Bahrain: 5 new insurance licences issued in the year to date

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has granted five insurance licences since the beginning of this year until mid-August. 

Bahrain: Central Bank issues final rules on insurance aggregators

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has in mid-August issued final directives for online insurance platforms, also known as insurance aggregators.

Egypt: Insurance pools proposed for oil and aviation risks

Insurance pools should be established for the oil and aviation sectors to be contributed by all non-life companies so that no one player monopolises these two classes of business, especially as the degree of risk is high and losses are huge, suggested a senior executive of Delta Insurance.

Egypt: Ministry rolls out phased universal health insurance system

The Egyptian Ministry of Health announced on 1 September that the new comprehensive health insurance system has started in the coastal governorate of Port Said, to offer better health services to citizens.

Egypt: Mandatory motor insurance pool accepts 2 more members

The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has approved the inclusion of two more insurers – Tharwa and AXA Property Insurance – in the compulsory motor insurance pool, bringing the total number of members to 18. 

Jordan: Motor insurers resume granting 15% discount on premiums

The Jordan Insurance Federation (JIF) said insurers have, after a two-month hiatus, resumed granting a 15% discount on premiums for vehicles with a clean traffic record in the previous year.

Jordan: 1H underwriting profits jumped by nearly 50%

The Jordanian insurance market posted higher technical profits for the first half of 2019 compared to the corresponding half last year despite a dip in written premiums.

Kuwait Re's profits grew almost 50% to $9.4m in 1H2019

Kuwait Re posted a 49.5% surge in net profit to KWD2.87m ($9.4m) for the first half of 2019, mainly contributed by the increase in net earned premiums and investment income. Gross premiums amounted to KWD41.31m in 1H2019, up 23.3% from the same period a year ago.

Morocco: Govt works on compulsory health and pension schemes for professionals

The government has approved a decree setting out a list of professions in the healthcare field, which will be covered in the first phase of the compulsory basic health insurance scheme and which will be included in a pension system for professionals, the self-employed and non-wage earning individuals working in the private sector.

Oman: Mandatory health insurance scheme to be implemented soon

The mandatory health insurance scheme for private-sector local employees, foreign workers and visitors to the Sultanate, is almost ready for implementation, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has announced.

Oman Re's net profit more than doubled in 1H2019

Oman Re reported a net profit of OMR2.87m ($7.5m) for 1H2019, up 110% compared to the same period a year ago, mainly driven by solid growth in investment income which grew by 68.6% to OMR6.83m during the period. 

Saudi Arabia: Mergers should 'preferably' involve more than 2 insurers

A merger of Saudi insurers should preferably involve more than two insurers, said Mr Adel Al-Issa, a spokesman for insurance companies in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia: Aggregate profits of 32 insurers hit $138m in 1H2019

Thirty two insurers listed on the Saudi stock market reported an aggregate net profit of SAR517.3m ($138m) for the first six months of this year, 17.1% lower compared to SAR624m for the corresponding period in 2018.

Saudi Arabia: National AI centre to be set up to boost productivity

King Salman has issued a decree to establish an AI centre in the kingdom to drive innovation and digital transformation, according to Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mr Abdullah Al-Sawaha.

Tunisia: Forex losses hit Tunis Re's 1H profits

Tunis Re posted a net profit of TND6.1m ($2.1m) for the first half of this year, compared to TND15.2m for the corresponding period last year.

Turkey: Auto sales take a dive

Turkish auto sales plummeted after tax incentives expired on 30 June, in a stark display of how dependent the market has become on government life support, according to a Bloomberg report.

Turkey: Asset risk a drag on insurers' credit profiles

The credit quality of the Turkish insurance sector may continue to weaken given the macro-economic pressure on the quality of insurers’ assets, said Fitch Ratings in a recent report. Asset quality is likely to remain the key rating weakness for Turkish insurers in the medium term.

UAE: Insurers posted healthy results in 1H2019

The first half of 2019 saw favourable results for the UAE insurance sector, with healthy premium income growth of 9% and profit growth of 2%, said Badri Management Consultancy in a report.

UAE: Insurance sector urged to press ahead with Emiratisation

Efforts are continuing in the local insurance sector to increase the Emiratisation rate that currently stands at less than 15% due to several reasons including less attractive remuneration offered in the insurance sector compared to the government sector and lack of competence and experience among locals.

UAE: Pay-per-km insurance plan launched

Online motor insurer Beema has launched a pay-per-km auto insurance scheme that gives cashbacks to eligible policyholders.

UAE: 3 in 4 people are uninterested in buying home insurance

Three in four (75%) respondents said that they are not interested in purchasing home insurance, while 18% were not sure, according to findings from a survey on user knowledge and habits regarding home insurance conducted by a major UAE online property platform, dubizzle Property. 

UAE: Regulator working on telematics to promote road safety

The UAE Insurance Authority (IA) is working to apply a vehicle technology system to monitor the behaviour of drivers and to guide them so as to avoid traffic violations.

UAE: Health insurers set aside only 3% of budget for technology

Less than 3% of the budgets of health insurers in general are invested in technology and innovation, according to Dr Saif Al Jaibeji, co-founder and chairman of Sehteq, which operates a technology-driven platform that allows consumers to choose their health insurance plans.

UAE: DIFC FinTech Hive's accelerator programme includes 10 InsurTech start-ups

The third edition of DIFC FinTech Hive’s accelerator programme has received an overwhelming response of over 425 applications from across the world, including Asia, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

UAE: Ajman Free Zone signs deal with Dubai Insurance to cover foreign workers

The Ajman Free Zone has signed an MoU and associated documents with Dubai Insurance Company (DIC) to provide insurance services to workers employed by organisations operating within the free zone.


Monte Carlo: CAT losses, pricing and ILS hot issues of $600bn reinsurance market

Hurricane Dorian was edging slowly up the east coast of the US after devastating the Bahamas – causing multiple deaths and at least $3bn worth of damage – while the world’s reinsurance community gathered in the balmy sunshine of Monte Carlo for Les Rendez-Vous de Septembre.

Global insurance prices up 6% in 2Q2019: Marsh

Global commercial insurance prices rose by 6% in the second quarter of 2019, nearly twice the increase observed in the first quarter, according to Marsh’s Global Insurance Market Index. The increase in the second quarter signifies the largest increase since 2012, with the market recording increased pricing in all major geographic regions and across multiple products. 

Lloyd's market is at a pivotal stage: Aon

Aon recently released its report titled ‘Lloyd’s Update – Redefining the Future’, which highlights that the UK institution is at a pivotal moment in its evolution. 

Dorian losses expected to hit $3.5-6.5bn: RMS

RMS has estimated that insured losses to the Caribbean from Hurricane Dorian will be between $3.5bn and $6.5bn. This estimate represents insured losses associated with wind-and-storm damage across the Caribbean region, most notably in the Bahamas, which was the most severely impacted country. 


Egypt: Largest insurance group to start life takaful unit next year

State-run Misr Insurance Holding plans to establish a new unit for life takaful activities by mid-2020, the company’s chairman and managing director Mr Basel El Hini said.

Egypt: Takaful business surges ahead of conventional insurance

Contributions collected by Egyptian takaful operators surged by 141% y-o-y during the first half of the year, said the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).

Egypt: Regulator sets agency fees for takaful companies

The Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has discussed with takaful operators the need to determine the proportion of contributions to be levied as a fee on policyholders by takaful operators operating under the agency system.

Egypt: Takaful operators given additional 6 months to comply with new regulations

Top officials of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) met with executives of takaful operators to discuss the issue of compliance with new regulations issued this year which aim to improve transparency and efficiency in the Islamic insurance segment.

Qatar: Plans to centralise Islamic finance sector supervision on the cards

The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) is planning to introduce central supervision of the Islamic finance sector to ensure consistent standards across the market.

Saudi Arabia: Tawuniya to insure foreign pilgrims for next 4 years

The Company for Cooperative Insurance (Tawuniya) has received approval from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to sign a contract with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to provide insurance services for foreign pilgrims.

Turkey: Takaful grew faster than conventional business in Jan-July

Takaful in Turkey posted contributions of TRY1.92bn ($337.3m) in the first seven months of this year, representing a growth of 56.5%.

UAE: Product development must take into account different jurisdictions

Takaful products developed for a particular country/region should not be simply implemented in another, said Mr Muhammad Zubair Mughal, CEO, AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) which recently organised a conference on Islamic insurance held in Dubai.

UAE: Abu Dhabi National Takaful expected to outperform competitors

Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company (ADNTC) benefits from a solid reputation as one of the most successful takaful operators in the market, which is complemented by its strong relationships with local Islamic banks, said AM Best.