UAE's largest insurer in terms of GWPs, Oman Insurance, has announced that it is no longer allowed to sell or issue insurance policies in Qatar.
In a statement, Oman Insurance said, “After 11 very successful years in Qatar, Oman Insurance has been notified by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) that our application for a branch licence has been declined.”
The statement described the QCB decision as “unexpected”.
Dubai-headquartered Oman Insurance also said, “This QCB decision does not presently affect any existing covers. All existing policies are still active and risks are covered as per the applicable conditions of contracts.
“Our clients and business partners can be assured that we are working closely with the QCB on feasible solutions to manage our existing portfolio. Once the final exit plan is approved by the QCB, we will share further details with our clients. Our team in Qatar will continue to service these policies, to make sure the transition will have the lowest possible impact on our client’s business.”
The QCB decision was given amid tension between Qatar and the UAE that has seen both sides accuse each other of unfair business practices, according to a Reuters report.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain had cut political, trade, and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017 and accused the nation of backing terrorism, a charge that Doha denies. However, it was not clear whether the QCB's rejection was a direct result of the dispute, said Reuters.
In December 2017, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance stated that it would exit the Dubai insurance market, and had stopped issuing insurance policies there by late 2018.