News Middle East16 May 2016

Lebanon:Insurance premiums up by 3% to $1.52 bln in 2015

16 May 2016

Insurance premiums generated in Lebanon totalled US$1.52 billion in 2015, representing an increase of 3.1% from $1.48 billion in 2014, according to figures released by the Association of Insurance Companies in Lebanon (ACAL).

Life insurance premiums totalled $462.8 million in 2015 and accounted for 30.4% of the sector's aggregate premiums. They were followed by medical premiums with $441.3  million (29%), motor premiums with $351 million (23%), fire premiums with $109.5 million (7.2%), workmen compensation with $51.9 million (3.4%), cargo premiums with $35.4 million (2.3%), public liability premiums with $18.3 million  (1.2%) and engineering premiums with $9.9 million (0.7%), while premiums from other categories amounted to $43 million and accounted for 2.8% of the total.

Engineering premiums grew by 31% in 2015; life insurance premiums increased by 7%, motor premiums  by 5%, and medical and fire premiums by 3% each. In contrast, cargo premiums declined by 22%,  workmen compensation decreased by 2%, and other categories contracted by 12% while public liability premiums were unchanged in 2015, according to a report in Lebanon This Week, published by the Economic Research & Analysis Department of Byblos Bank, citing ACAL.

Total benefits and claims paid by insurance companies stood at $823.4 million in 2015, constituting a rise of 9.1% from $754.6 million in 2014. Benefits and claims paid for non-life classes totalled $576.3 million last year, constituting an increase of 1%, while claims disbursed for life insurance amounted to $247.2 million and grew by 34.2% from 2014. Medical claims accounted for 37.7% of total claims paid in 2015, followed by life insurance claims (30%), motor claims (22%), workmen's claims (3.7%), fire claims (3.3%), cargo claims (1.2%), public liability claims (0.7%) and engineering claims (0.4%); while claims from other categories accounted for 1% of the total.

Engineering claims surged by 75% in 2015, life insurance claims rose by 34%, fire claims increased by 9% and medical claims grew by 3%. In contrast, public liability claims dropped by 27% last year, cargo claims fell by 18% and workmen claims declined by 10%, while motor claims were unchanged year-on-year and claims from other categories decreased by 13%.

For life insurance, unit-linked policies accounted for 61.2% of total insurance premiums and for 17.3% of the number of life insurance contracts in 2015, while life protection plans represented 38.8% of total life insurance premiums and 82.7% of the total number of life contracts last year.

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