Read the latest edition of AIR and MEIR as an Interactive e-book


May 2020



Insurance regulators discuss ways of countering COVID-19 impact

The Arab Union of Insurance Regulatory Commissions (AUIRC) president Ebrahim Obaid Al Zaabi held an e-meeting with the presidents of the Arab authorities overseeing the insurance activities of the union’s members to discuss their measures and challenges of managing the implications of COVID-19.

GCC: COVID-19 and low oil prices threaten insurers' earnings

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.

Algeria: Insurance sales fall 10% in 1Q2020

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.

Egypt: Regulator eases premium payments on micro-loan covers

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.

Egypt: New products to be launched to boost microinsurance growth

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.

Egypt: More players in insurance broking segment

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).

Lebanon: GWP slip by 4% in 2019

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).

Lebanon: Ministry of Economy urges insurers to cover COVID-19

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”.

Morocco: Life business plunges in February

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).

Morocco: Insurance and intermediary bodies offer credit facilities to agents & brokers

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: Online insurance transactions jump 59% in 2019

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.

Saudi Arabia: Insurers issue results warning

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.

Saudi Arabia: Traffic accidents fall by 60% following nationwide curfew

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.

Saudi Arabia: SAMA releases model IDI policy

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has issued the model text for the compulsory inherent defects insurance (IDI) policy.

Turkey: Industry continues to post profits in 2019

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.

Turkey: Guidelines issued on professional liability cover for real estate valuers

The Insurance Association of Turkey (TSB) has published guidelines on professional liability insurance for real estate appraisers.

Turkey: Govt extends credit insurance protection, pledges reinsurance support

The Treasury and Finance Ministry is providing reinsurance cover for commercial credit insurance to support the economy, particularly SMEs.

UAE: Dubai Expo 2020 postponed until next year

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: Listed insurers report exposure to fraud-hit healthcare group

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.

UAE: International health insurer VUMIĀ® opens office in Dubai

VIP Universal Medical Insurance Group (VUMI®), which offers international health insurance products and VIP medical services, has opened a new office in Dubai.

UAE: Regulator postpones implementation of new life insurance rules for 6 months

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.

UAE: Insurance Authority launches professional training academy

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.

UAE: Industrial Development Bureau to insure industrial facilities in Abu Dhabi

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. 

UAE: Local insurers lack sports cover expertise

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.


Reinsurers well-placed to manage COVID-19 disruption: Willis Re

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. 

Forcing insurers to pay out could destabilise the industry

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.

A low-carbon world is necessary to reduce future losses of Nat CATs: Swiss Re

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.


IFSB seeks views on exposure draft on takaful sector transparency

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.

Egypt: Regulator clears confusion over stakes held in Islamic insurers by conventional players

The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has issued a resolution permitting conventional insurers to have a stake in a takaful company.

Saudi Arabia: Islamic credit insurer contributes to COVID-19 fund

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.

UAE: SALAMA records $15m in profits in 2019

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.

UAE: Watania posts 40% jump in net profit for 2019

National Takaful Company (Watania) has announced a 39% jump in net profit to AED13.1m ($3.6m) for 2019, from AED9.4m in 2018.