Asia Pacific's property and casualty (P&C) sector remains robust and premium growth in the region continues to exceed that of other regions on the back of the region's economic growth, increasing wealth, and the need to build infrastructure.
This outline of the insurance operating environment in the region was given by Ms Qian Zhu, vice president-senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service who was speaking at a seminar organised by Saudi Re last month in Kuala Lumpur.
P&C insurers are also exploring new growth drivers from non-motor lines, while pricing discipline is becoming increasingly important for defending underwriting margins amid intense competition, she added.
The long-term demand for life insurance in Asia remained strong, underpinned by growing middle class and significant protection gap, citing the example of China where life insurance premium income increased by 16% in the first half of 2019, compared to a year earlier, she said.
During the seminar, Mr Ismail Mahbob, a board member of Saudi Re, addressed the upscaling potential of takaful business which reached MYR2.79bn ($666m) in 2018. He also discussed product mix and distribution channels for takaful as well as the challenges and opportunities of Islamic insurance business in the context of the Malaysian market.
Mr Ahmad Al-Qarishi, chief risk officer & chief actuary of Saudi Re, discussed the development of capital modelling and its impact on insurers' decision making and the management of counterparty risk.
Mr Liu Kim Hock , principal officer of Saudi Re Labuan branch, said that the seminar attracted more than 40 participants representing regulators, insurers and brokers. It offered an opportunity to actively engage in a dialogue among insurance professionals on industry matters.
Saudi Re, an A3 rated reinsurer by Moody’s, established its branch in Labuan in 2014. the reinsurer specialises in life and non-life treaty and facultative reinsurance solutions and operates in more than 40 markets across the MENA, Asia, Africa and in Lloyd’s.