The progress which UAE has achieved in health insurance services has helped the sector retain its regional leadership and would support the country's endeavours to become a reliable healthcare destination, said speakers at the 5th Healthcare Insurance Conference in Dubai yesterday.
Health insurance premiums have grown to account for almost half of the UAE market premium income in 2017, and medical insurance plays a key role in expanding awareness towards using insurance as a social protection tool in the country, noted Mr Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and chairman of the Insurance Authority (IA) in the UAE.
Mr Al Mansouri commended the progress which has been achieved in the UAE insurance sector in terms of the size of premiums, increased capacity and diversity of insurance servicesat the local and regional levels.
The UAE insurance market saw GWP reach AED44bn ($12bn) in 2017 against AED40bn in the previous year. Property and liability insurance lines grew to AED32.8bn from AED29.4bn over the same period.
“The UAE has transformed to a global centre in the insurance field (…) providing insurance services not only locally but also in other states in the region in general.” He noted that the UAE has preserved it leadership as the largest insurance market in MENA for the past 10 years. “This demonstrates the strength and capacity of the insurance market and the vital role it plays as one of the main tools in facing risks and in protecting individuals and properties against any possible perils,” he said.
He added that implementing compulsory medical insurance in Abu Dhabi and Dubai has contributed in diversifying insurance coverage and introducing distinctive healthcare services to clients and policyholders.
The minister’s speech was delivered on his behalf by Dr Maryam al-Suwaidi, the deputy CEO for licensing, supervision and enforcement affairs at the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).
Mr Fareed Lutfi, secretary general of Emirates Insurance Association (EIA), noted that healthcare has become an essential requirement in societies. Improving the standard of healthcare services and ease of delivering them to individuals has become a necessity in light of the increased costs of medical treatment. He added that innovation would strengthen the quality of healthcare services and make the UAE a pioneer global model in forging a preventive strategy for future challenges. “It will also support the position of the country as a global destination in providing smart healthcare with the use of smart technology.”
Held with the theme “Innovation in Healthcare Insurance” and organised by EIA with the support of the IA, the conference attracted over 100 delegates from local and international markets.