Volume has been the key driver in property reinsurance business during the 1 January renewal period, said Willis Re in its latest 1st View renewals report.
The latest chapter of turbulence in the Middle East will undoubtedly lead to insurers and reinsurers, particularly in lines such as hull, war, piracy, terrorism, cargo and construction, raising premiums, renegotiating terms of cover and introducing riders and endorsements to policies to reflect the increased risks of trading in the region, said Mr Jonathan Moss, head of marine and trade at the UK-based multinational law firm DWF.
The General Directorate of Taxation (DGI) has set the amount of a new pollution tax for this year at DZD1,500 ($12.50) for passenger cars and DZD3,000 for all other vehicles and rolling stock.
The Insurance Institute of Egypt (IIE), in coordination with UK-based Unicorn Simulations, and under the sponsorship of Delta Insurance Company (Egypt) and Bavarian Insurance Brokerage, held a workshop for industry professionals in the Arab region called ‘Strategic business planning simulation workshop for running a profitable insurance operation’.
The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has issued a decision to compel insurers to include all commissions, rewards or incentives for insurance brokers in the insurance contract to improve transparency. The decision followed complaints from several insurers and policyholders about malpractices.
The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has agreed to grant the final approval for a licence to Union Insurance Brokerage, which is made up of a group of individual brokers.
The Insurance Federation of Egypt (IFE) has launched a risk management department to support insurers to face societal, economic and technical challenges, and to back them when they renew reinsurance agreements, as well as when they seek a high credit rating from international rating agencies.
The Iranian government will pay $100-$150m in compensation for the Ukrainian plane which was accidentally shot down on 8 January by an Iranian-fired missile, said Mr Gulamali Jahangiri, deputy chairman of the Central Insurance of Iran, reported Trend News Agency.
A number of issues in the proposed new insurance law still need to be ironed out, even as the insurance industry in Jordan is eager for the amended law to be enacted, said Mr Majed Smairat, president of the Jordan Insurance Federation (JIF).
Jordan’s Minister of Health Dr Saad Jaber has announced that the proposed comprehensive health insurance system in the kingdom is scheduled to start in March.
The Moroccan insurance market saw sustained growth last year, estimated industry professionals based on increases observed over the previous two years. Final figures for 2019 are pending from the Moroccan Federation of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (FMSAR) and the Insurance and Social Insurance Supervisory Authority (ACAPS).
Oman’s newly appointed Sultan has a narrowing window to address the country’s fiscal and economic challenges, amid a backdrop of weak oil prices, said S&P Global Ratings.
The decision by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) for the insurance industry to have separate companies for reinsurance and insurance broking operations will lead to more transparency in contractual relations, job opportunities and greater confidence in the local market, said industry professionals.
Al Ahlia Insurance Company and Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance Company have recently signed an MoU to evaluate a potential merger.
The Turkish insurance industry should see growth in non-auto branches, with fire and natural disaster, general damage and general liability expected to stand out this year, according to the president of the Turkey Insurance Association (TSB).
Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund will take over insurance and pension companies owned by state lenders and consolidate them to increase their global competitive power, reported Reuters.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, has enacted the Employment Law Amendment Law No. 4 of 2020, said the DIFC.
Industry players have estimated that losses suffered by insurers arising from traffic accidents during the recent rains range between AED50m ($13.6m) and AED60m.
In a bid to support and strengthen local traders, Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) has subscribed with Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB), a federal entity that provides credit information reports in accordance with the UAE Credit Information Law.
Motor insurance rates fell by around 30% on average last year, according to insurance broking sources who allege that insurers took advantage of the accident-free clean-record system to undercut their competitors.
The DIFC has signed separate MoUs with two leading institutions to upskill talent and promote efficiency and improvement.
The risks to the insurance market in Yemen have reached levels that threaten the survival of companies operating in the sector as a result of the ongoing conflict in the country that has affected economic and investment activities, said media reports.
An annual risk survey published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has put climate change and related environmental issues as the top five risks in terms of likelihood – ahead of risks ranging from cyber attacks and pandemics to geopolitical conflict and weapons of mass destruction. It is the first time in the survey’s history that one category has occupied all five of the top spots.
Recent reinsurance renewals were difficult for some – apparently some entities alleged no indication for improvement this year. However, US-based risk modelling and forecasting company AbsoluteClimo expects improvement with below normal risk direction for 2020, with global total losses most likely to meet or exceed $110bn and a probability range from $80bn to $164bn – notably better than 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The aviation sector was greeted with the unfortunate news of the crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight in Iran early January which killed all 176 people on board. The Boeing 737-800 plane was bound for Kiev when it crashed just minutes after taking off at the Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran.
The CAT bond sector has surpassed $100bn in cumulative issuance since its inception more than 20 years ago, according to Aon Securities.
Experts fear the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in China will have a major impact on economic growth in China, and that of the wider global economy.
State-owned Misr Insurance Holding has launched Misr Takaful Life Insurance with a capital of EGP150m ($9.5m) in partnership with Banque Misr and the National Bank of Egypt (NBE).
The Indonesian Shariah Insurance Association (AASI) projects that the contribution of the takaful sector in 2020 will grow by 10%. AASI is optimistic that premiums has grown faster than in 2019 because of an increasingly supportive ecosystem.
Takaful is expected to contribute strongly to deepening insurance penetration in Nigeria this year, said insurance consultant Ekerete Gam-Ikon as reported by Nigerian daily The Sun.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that the number of a new comprehensive insurance policy issued to foreign umrah pilgrims in the first 10 days of this year reached almost 180,000, including more than 37,000 effective policies, according to a report by Saudi Press Agency.
A number of local insurers have announced proposed mergers among themselves or the reduction of capital to write off accumulated losses.
Al Hilal Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), has agreed to sell Al Hilal Takaful, its Islamic insurance business and operations, to Siraj Holdings.
One area which the UK will likely seek to develop, especially in the wake of Brexit, is the domestic takaful sector.