Medical, life insurance markets growing
Manama, February 8, 2012
Growth in the Middle East insurance market is particularly strong in the fields of medical, healthcare and life insurance business, said experts at the ongoing Middle East Insurance Forum (MEIF 2012) in Bahrain.
But people are more cautious about growth in the motor and personal insurance sector, according to Ernst & Young Mena Insurance senior director Justin Balcombe, whose firm has sponsored the forum.
"There are challenges in developing the large commercial side of the market and we need more technical underwriting to make sure companies are taking on profitable risk," Balcombe stated.
"The takaful market has seen significant growth but it also faces its own challenges. Both conventional and takaful face similar problems about operating in unprofitable segments," he said. "One of the problems in the region is that there are too many companies in the market," he added.
"There are 63 onshore firms in the UAE alone and that is too many," he said.
"We have been saying for years that the market needs consolidation but that requires companies with cash to acquire others that have value," explained Balcombe.
"Ownership needs to be simplified in the region for foreign firms," he added.-TradeArabia News Service