There is a hype of the region both in terms of good and bad news. World equity markets are in yo-yo mode again, global trade tensions are rising and geopolitics are dominating business. Hence, these are challenging times. Insurers have to muster their strength to stay focused on meeting customer expectations to grow their business even as the financial services arena is in constant flux – because of regulatory change, shifting demand and the cost of capital.
Technology, viewed suspiciously before as a disruptor, is now embraced as a friend and much-needed partner that can allow insurers to capitalise on exploiting the new opportunities in the air.
Our cover story takes a leap of faith in that vein and zeroes in on drones that are being extensively used with the cost of drones having come down so dramatically to be now deemed most affordable. As the market for drones takes off, underwriters must look at the changing risk profile and how to insure the emerging risks related to the technology not covered under traditional aviation insurance policies.
With the renewal season upon us, we look at the overcapacity in the market despite huge losses and the unique role and expectations of regional reinsurers. In Egypt, they are revisiting the need for a national reinsurer, while FAIR calls on regional reinsurers to step outside their comfort zone and flex their muscles more actively. Reinsurance is somehow still a very much relationship-based business despite the analytics and data.
On takaful, with the numbers growing, our latest Global Takaful Directory 2019 listed more than 200 takaful operators, we make a clarion call for takaful to embrace the ‘techaful’ revolution to becoming digital to have a real impact in addressing the protection gaps across the Islamic world. At the Takaful Rendezvous in Kuala Lumpur last month, the debate shifted to whether operators should get more “takafulised” or go back to basics.
Lastly, returning to the raison d’etre of insurance, we make a clear pitch to transform the claims function to keep pace with customer expectations. Customers are used to the service of Apple these days, nothing less. (For those serious, check out our Claims Summit in a Disrupted/Automated World in Singapore on 19-20 November.)
With the 5th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards gala dinner taking place this month, we take a quick look to see how past winners have been flying the flag of excellence. Do winners work to raise the bar for the industry or rest on their laurels? Some do end up as just a one-trick pony with one night of glory, but there are several others who go the extra mile to serve the industry with commitment and pride and return as repeat winners. We salute them.
With just two months left in the year to go, let me wish all our readers the very best in meeting your targets for the year.
Middle East Insurance Review