Oct 2020

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MENA: Parade of finalists for 7th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards

A total of 48 insurers, brokers, risk managers, service providers and industry leaders have emerged as the finalists for the 7th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards (MIIA), organised by Middle East Insurance Review (MEIR).

MENA: High country risk levels could pose a challenge for insurers

AM Best has released its 2020 Country Risk Assessment Reports, providing economic, political and financial system risk assessments on 137 countries.

MEA: Chedid in talks to acquire majority stake in African units of insurance broking group

The Husson family, founder of the Ascoma group, and Chedid Capital Holding have entered into exclusive negotiations for the sale of Ascoma Assureurs Conseils to the Lebanon-headquartered insurance and financial services group.

GCC: Digital portals enable competitive motor premiums

Damana, a leading insurer in the GCC, has launched a drive to give motorists across the region access to more competitive insurance premiums and tailored products with the introduction of market-specific portals for brokers.

Egypt: Insurance broking licence granted amidst moratorium

The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has granted Enzo Insurance Brokerage a licence to operate in the Egyptian market.

Egypt: Moroccan insurer receives life licence

One of Morocco’s largest insurers Wafa Assurance has obtained a licence from the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) to launch its new life and health insurance unit in Egypt.

Jordan: Premiums down 2.8% to $505m in Jan-Jul 2020

The premium income of 24 insurers in Jordan reached JOD358.3m ($505.4m) in the first seven months of 2020, a 2.8% fall compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

Lebanon: Beirut explosion caused up to $4.6bn in damages to infrastructure and physical assets - World Bank

The 4 August Beirut port explosion caused between $3.8bn and $4.6bn in damage to physical stock, while losses including changes in economic flows as a result of the decline in the output of the economic sectors are estimated to be in the range of $2.9bn and $3.5bn, according to preliminary estimates arising from a Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA).

Lebanon: Port blast insurance claims reach $425m

Insurance claims arising from the 4 August warehouse explosion at the Port of Beirut have so far reached $425m, according to Caretaker Economy Minister Raoul Nehme.

Morocco: Broker enters specialised credit insurance sector

The PREVAS Group, which is among the top 10 insurance brokers in Morocco, has launched PREVAS ACC, a new entity specialising in credit insurance, to offer Moroccan companies and the local credit insurance market a single point of contact and expertise in protection against the commercial risks of default and insolvency.

Oman: Regulator directs insurers to extend loan cover to retirees over 70

Omanis above 60 years of age will have their loan repayment periods rescheduled to their benefit, while borrowers aged 70 and above will still be eligible for health insurance because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) has announced.

Oman: Regulator eases insurers' overseas investment limit

Oman’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) has approved a revised regulation for insurance companies that will allow them to invest up to 30% of their investment portfolio abroad. 

Saudi Arabia: Consultative panel calls for health insurance for retired expats

The Saudi Shura (Consultative) Council has recommended the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) study various alternatives to facilitate private sector retirees’ access to health insurance.

Saudi Enaya and GlobeMed Saudi sign TPA agreement

Healthcare benefits management company GlobeMed Saudi and Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance have entered into a TPA agreement that took effect on 1 September 2020 for a period of around three years.

Turkey: Survey provides insight into health insurance preferences

Individual and corporate customers benefiting from private health insurance are predominantly located in Istanbul and Ankara, according to research by Demir Saglik, a life insurance agency.

UAE: Insurers are sufficiently solvent to face pandemic challenge

Insurance companies in the UAE have sufficient financial solvency and liquidity to pay any current or potential compensation or claims resulting from the short-term repercussions of COVID-19, said the UAE Insurance Authority (IA) director general Ibrahim Obaid Al-Zaabi.

UAE: Health insurer launches bot to fight COVID-19

Health insurer Daman has collaborated with Microsoft to launch a bilingual health bot that will assist patients to conduct self-assessment on COVID-19 symptoms and guide them to the appropriate level of care.


(Re)insurance markets to continue hardening over the next two years

(Re)insurance markets are set to continue hardening over the next two years or perhaps even a bit longer, according to Munich Re CEO of reinsurance Dr Torsten Jeworrek during a virtual media conference last month.

Asia Pacific crop insurance market set to overtake US

The rise in digital initiatives for crop insurance and supportive government initiatives such as subsidies drive the growth of the global crop insurance market. US-based Allied Market Research (AMR) said in its latest report that the crop insurance market is expected to grow to $53.02bn globally by 2027, at a 6.1% CAGR.

Swiss Re expects price increases across all segments to continue

Following rate improvements in many markets, and particularly in loss-affected segments, Swiss Re expects further rate hardening across all lines of business. At the same time, the reliance on underwriting profits increases in the low interest rate environment.

Reinsurance remains accretive form of capital in managing volatility

Aon’s recent reinsurance market outlook report indicated that reinsurance remains an accretive form of capital for insurers in managing volatility even as markets continue to evolve in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Global: IFSB & IsDB sign grant agreement for final review of 10-year framework

The Jeddah-headquartered Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) have signed a Technical Assistance (TA) Grant agreement for the final review of the ‘10-Year Framework and Strategy Project’ for the Islamic financial services industry. The TA is planned to be implemented up to 31 December 2021.

MENA retakaful has long-term growth potential

In its annual commentary released in September on the global reinsurance industry, AM Best said retakaful operators have yet to achieve sustained traction in the MENA region, despite ample opportunities. 

Algeria: Islamic insurance on the cards soon

Algeria will for the first time launch Islamic insurance as the government seeks to boost the country’s Islamic finance industry, reported Reuters quoting the country’s finance minister Ayman Benabderrahmane. 

Egypt: Acquisition of takaful operator complete

EFG Hermes and GB Auto have announced the completion of their 75% stake acquisition of Tokio Marine Egypt Family Takaful, in a deal worth EGP84.75m.

Nigeria: Call for review of takaful guidelines

The guidelines for takaful insurance in Nigeria are overdue for review and reform to make the industry more effective and robust, according to Mr Abdullah Abdulrasaq, a lecturer in the Department of Islamic Banking, Insurance & Finance at the Islamic Finance College, Ilorin Kwara State.