The volatility in capital markets resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price shock could weaken the credit quality of some insurers in the GCC region, said S&P Global Ratings in a report.
Insurers in Algeria recorded huge losses during the 1Q2020, with premium income falling by DZD6bn ($47.4m), a decrease of 10% compared to the first three months of 2019.
The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has revealed that microfinance agencies have reached agreement with insurers for the former to pay compulsory microinsurance premiums on behalf of their clients until the economic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has improved.
Insurers are working to provide new microinsurance products, including cover for livestock owners and small craftsmen, said Insurance Federation of Egypt chairman Alaa El-Zoheiry.
The number of individual insurance brokers in Egypt increased to 13,297 at end-December 2019, up 7% compared to the same period a year ago, according to a report on non-banking financial activities in the country for the last quarter of 2019 released by the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).
The GWP of 50 licensed insurers in Lebanon reached $1.61bn in 2019, constituting a decrease of 4% from $1.68bn in 2018, according to a report by the Economic Research & Analysis Department of Byblos Bank citing data released by the Insurance Control Commission (ICC).
Lebanese Minister of Economy Raoul Nehme has called on insurers to cover COVID-19 in their insurance policies, stressing the need for “all parties to play their part in providing appropriate support in view of the economic and living conditions the country is going through”.
The insurance industry saw premiums fall by 8.6% to MAD3.5bn ($350m) in February 2020, compared to the corresponding month in 2019, according to statistics released by the Supervisory Authority of Insurance and Social Welfare (ACAPS).
The Moroccan Federation of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (FMSAR) and the National Federation of Insurance Agents and Brokers of Morocco (FNACAM) have announced measures to support insurance agents and brokers in the current difficult business conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oman’s insurance industry has seen a steep rise in online purchases of insurance policies with more and more consumers using digital platforms for their insurance requirements.
A number of insurers have lodged statements with the stock exchange saying that sales of policies might be impacted by precautionary measures imposed by the authorities, including a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. This, in turn, could affect their GWP.
The number of traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia has decreased since the government imposed a curfew aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, according to statistics compiled by motor insurance service company, Najm for Insurance Services.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has issued the model text for the compulsory inherent defects insurance (IDI) policy.
The insurance market was profitable in 2019, according to data released by the Insurance Association of Turkey (TSB). The total technical profit chalked up by the industry last year stood at TRY7.75bn ($1.14bn), a jump of 52% over 2018.
The Insurance Association of Turkey (TSB) has published guidelines on professional liability insurance for real estate appraisers.
The Treasury and Finance Ministry is providing reinsurance cover for commercial credit insurance to support the economy, particularly SMEs.
The UAE government has formally proposed to postpone the staging of Expo 2020 Dubai until next year to allow for recovery from the difficult business conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic that has also affected participating countries.
UAE publicly-listed companies, including insurers, have begun reporting their exposure if any to NMC Health, the embattled healthcare operator, which is at risk of being placed into administration.
VIP Universal Medical Insurance Group (VUMI®), which offers international health insurance products and VIP medical services, has opened a new office in Dubai.
The UAE Insurance Authority (IA) has issued a resolution to postpone the implementation of a decision (No. 49 of 2019) concerning Instructions for Life Insurance and Family Takaful Insurance (Life Regulations) for six months from 16 April 2020 to 16 October 2020.
The UAE Insurance Authority (IA) has launched a professional training academy, in cooperation with specialised international scientific and educational institutes and centres such as the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), to provide training in insurance and actuarial science, in a way that contributes to promoting the Emiratisation process and grooming talent for top management positions in the sector.
The Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has revealed the provision of a new service covering the registration of industrial project mortgage contracts for licensed industrial facilities in the industrial registry.
Local insurers are unable to offer sports insurance because of their lack of capacity and expertise in this field, said United Gulf Insurance Brokerage executive director Saeed Ahmed.
While COVID-19 dramatically disrupted the financial markets, reinsurers took a measured approach to the April renewals – which saw significant rate increases on loss-affected accounts and more modest rises on loss-free business, according to a renewals report from Willis Re.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world together in a truly unique way. People all over the globe are calling for solidarity and unity. But as the world stands together against this new threat, some have accused the insurance industry of standing apart.
In Swiss Re’s latest sigma report, the reinsurer expects climate change to increase the intensity and frequency of severe weather events and lead to more uncertainty in their assessment.
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has issued its exposure draft on promoting transparency and market discipline for takaful and retakaful undertakings (ED-25) for public consultation.
The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has issued a resolution permitting conventional insurers to have a stake in a takaful company.
The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) is providing a $150m insurance facility as part of the COVID-19 response initiated by the Jeddah-headquartered Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group.
Islamic Arab Insurance Company (SALAMA), the UAE’s largest and oldest takaful provider, has reported a net profit of AED55m ($15m) for the financial year ended 31 December 2019, compared to the AED2m posted for 2018.
National Takaful Company (Watania) has announced a 39% jump in net profit to AED13.1m ($3.6m) for 2019, from AED9.4m in 2018.