Total direct premiums of the insurance sector in Oman increased to OMR463.5m ($1,207m) in 2018 compared to OMR451.5m in 2017, according to the audited financial statements of insurance companies.
The data, published by the Capital Market Authority in its annual issue of insurance market indicators, show that insurance premiums increased by OMR12m or 2.6% last year over 2017.
The indicators confirm that the insurance market has maintained reasonable levels of growth during the last four years, despite economic conditions and spending cuts by businesses and the government, according to local media reports.
The indicators also show structural changes in the distribution of insurance premiums in the Omani market. For the first time, health insurance business rank first among the various classes of business, accounting for OMR152m or 33% of total insurance premiums, while motor premiums contributed OMR145m or 31% of total premiums.
In the last few years, the health insurance sector witnessed remarkable growth. Its growth rate during the period 2011-2018 was about 30.5% due to rising demand for health insurance products.
Another class of business, property insurance, witnessed a steady growth of 22% in 2018, to post premium income of OMR48.7m, representing 10.5% of total insurance premiums.
This increase is attributed to higher public awareness of the importance of acquiring such protection, which insures property against the risks of fire, climate risks, etc.