Challenges faced by the insurance sector in the MENA region occupied the agenda at the 4th Conference of the Federation of Arab Insurance Supervisors (AUIRC) in Marrakech that was organised by Morocco's Insurance and Social Insurance Supervisory Authority (ACAPS).
Regulators and insurance industry players from the MENA region met on 4-5 December and discussed regulatory issues, insurance education, and the challenges and opportunities that Arab countries must seize in order to achieve more growth in the sector.
ACAPS president Hassan Boubrik, in his speech during the opening of the conference, said that the size of the market is about $40bn. The region's insurance penetration rate is not yet at a desirable level, standing at 1.6% while the global average is 6%. He also said that several countries in the region suffer from problems, to varying degrees, mainly related to financial stability.
Another challenge facing the Arab insurance sector, he added, is that of "bringing regulatory frameworks in line with international standards.”
A further challenge is the lack of an insurance culture. Mr Boubrik said, "How can we increase and improve the insurance culture of the Arab citizen in general? I think there are many things that can be done both through financial education and actions."
Mr Ebrahim Obaid Al Zaabi, director general of the UAE Insurance Authority and the new AUIRC president who assumed the post wef 6 December 2019, urged insurance supervisors in Arab countries to develop legislative and regulatory frameworks in order to enhance the competitiveness of the insurance sector and raise the quality of insurance services for Arab citizens.