As business winds down for Eid and the summer break, we bring you a bumper issue with a burst of stories dancing like daffodils in the wind every which way, including an interview with Brian Duperreault, easily the biggest star in the insurance industry these days as CEO of AIG, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
The warmest spot in the region is the rise of the healthcare market though ironically medical inflation is higher here than the global average. Is it a game of numbers or averages? Yet the region has the most advanced state of TPAs that are helping insurers fast-track their digital journeys and engage customers better.
In the overall bleak global geopolitical and business environment with warmongers, terrorist, trade spats and global warming, we zero in on the opportunities in trade credit and political risks where the prospects reign bright.
The region is full of swings and surprises, too. Trust Re is fully on its feet with a new burst to expand its business, while Arig has decided to cease underwriting. There are many others toying with expansion plans or pulling out or cutting back even as some markets are looking at 100% foreign ownership.
Our country profile this month is on Jordan where the challenging status quo after years of tough economic times is forcing insurers to be different and better to grow their business. The transference of insurance supervision to the Central Bank is a harbinger of hope and better times for the industry.
With the 46th General Assembly of AIO in South Africa, we bring you a quick look at dynamism that’s driving the African market with improving economic indicators, favourable demographics, continued urbanisation and the sheer widespread use of mobile technology across all boundaries. Takaful and telemedicine remain promising.
On takaful, we look at how the GCC listed operators are still lagging behind with a below-par performance last year when Saudi players were hit the hardest. Many see the need for a stronger and cohesive strategy for the business model to succeed.
On technology, the focus is on AI in insurance and the need to balance the promise and ethical dilemmas. While AI and its applications promise to make insurance more relevant, appealing and affordable to customers, the flip side is the challenges such as discrimination and the abuse of personal data. Will this lead to regulatory backlash?
As part of the read we include many thought-provoking articles on telematics and IoT, new schemes in pensions management, new products to meet the changing needs of consumers as well as how autonomous cars can promise a better deal for motor insurers.
As you wind down for Eid, I urge you in good conscience to do good and think also of the industry and its glories and stars in the region. Don’t hesitate to nominate the outstanding players, professionals, leaders and initiatives for the 6th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards (MIIA). Many are just amazed at how independent and above board the entire selection and judging process is. The awards have become the most highly coveted in the region, so don’t be shy about making a bid for yourself or your company.
I take this opportunity to wish you the very best for Eid.
Middle East Insurance Review