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May 2021



MENA: 8th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards - Open for nominations

Nominations are open for the 8th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards (MIIA), organised by Middle East Insurance Review (MEIR), which aim to recognise and salute excellence in the MENA insurance sector, and promote greater professionalism in the market. The Awards hold special significance this year because 2021 marks the 15th anniversary of MEIR.

MENA: Complete digital transformation of insurance sector seen as unlikely at present

A complete digital transformation of the insurance sector is unlikely at present, even though the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalisation in the sector.

MENA: Prevention and care management programmes drive better health outcomes - GlobeMed

GlobeMed, the leading healthcare benefits management group in the Middle East, published a white paper titled ‘Improving Care while Battling Costs’ detailing the importance of adopting prevention and care management programmes to drive better health outcomes and curb the rising healthcare costs.

GCC: Insurance outlook maintained at 'negative' - AM Best

Global rating agency AM Best continues to hold a negative market segment outlook on the insurance markets of the GCC. Factors supporting the outlook include COVID-19-driven uncertainty and the risk that further oil price volatility will maintain economic pressure across the region.

Egypt: Parliamentary committees examine draft insurance law

The Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives has held meetings to consider and discuss the Bill for a long-awaited unified insurance law, said media reports. The meetings were held in conjunction with the committee on constitutional and legislative affairs.

Lebanon: At least 16,000 Beirut Port-related claims amounting to $1.1bn received

Insurers in Lebanon have received at least 16,000 claims for estimated losses of close to $1.1bn from last year’s 4 August Beirut Port explosions, according to the latest report released in February by the Insurance Control Commission (ICC). Only $60m of this total has been settled so far.

Morocco: National financial inclusion council promotes microinsurance

The National Council for Financial Inclusion has called for the development of new distribution channels for universal insurance, especially microinsurance.

Oman: Financial regulator considers formulating new investment rules for insurers

Oman’s financial regulator is considering drafting new rules to regulate insurance companies’ investments to help the sector counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Ahmed Al-Mamari, vice president with the insurance sector at the Capital Market Authority in Oman, has revealed.

Oman: Reinsurer conducts risk engineering workshops

Qatar: Shura Council approves draft law on healthcare and mandatory health insurance

The Shura Council, or legislative body, has approved a draft law regulating healthcare services within Qatar, that also covers compulsory health insurance.

Saudi Arabia: Insurance mergers are on the right track

UAE: Diabetes management programme enables over 60% of participants to manage risk of complications

The National Health Insurance Company – Daman said that over 60% of participants in its diabetes management programme have maintained or reduced their risks to develop complications over a period of 12 months with 89% following the programme’s guidance to improve their quality of life.


Reinsurers show signs of underlying combined ratio improvement - Willis Re

An in-depth analysis conducted by Willis Re of the results of a set of 17 reinsurers shows that their reported combined ratio deteriorated from 100.6% in 2019 to 104.1% in 2020, due entirely to COVID-19 loss reserving.

Pandemic fuels heightened political risk in 2021

Pandemic-induced economic stress will continue to exacerbate political risk throughout 2021, according to Marsh Specialty’s latest political risk map.

IUMI renews focus on ESG issues

The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) is refocusing efforts on environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) issues to ensure the marine insurance sector and its clients are better prepared to deal with their impact.

Reinsurers expected to post modest underwriting profits this year - Fitch

Global reinsurers are expected to post modest underwriting profits in 2021, as increases in reinsurance rates across almost all business lines are expected to outpace loss cost inflation, said Fitch Ratings. Pandemic-related losses are projected to normalise across non-life (re)insurance, life and health reinsurance mortality businesses.


Bahrain: Training institute releases book on technical aspects of takaful

The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) has issued a book on Islamic insurance in a strategic partnership with Gulf Insurance Group (GIG).

Kuwait: First Takaful invests in Islamic insurer in Pakistan

First Takaful Insurance has announced that it will invest in a new Islamic insurance company in Pakistan.

Malaysia: Family takaful new business contributions rise by 7% in 2020

New business contributions for family takaful business in Malaysia increased by 7% to MYR6.59bn ($1.59bn) in 2020 from MYR6.16bn in the previous year despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA).

Morocco: Takaful to be launched soon

Morocco is putting the final touches on takaful, which is seen as key to supporting the growth of participatory finance in the country mainly triggered by real estate.

UAE: Watania declares third consecutive year of dividends

National Takaful Company (Watania) has approved a dividend payment of 7.5% to shareholders for 2020. Last year marks the third consecutive year the company has declared dividends, following 6% declared in 2019 and 5% in 2018.