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Expat cover ‘to boost Bahrain’s insurance sector’

Manama, March 25, 2013

The proposed introduction of compulsory health insurance for all expatriates would open up a BD50 million ($132.6 million) market for Bahrain's insurance industry, experts said.

The implementation of the proposal was at an advanced stage, with a recent move by the authorities that clears the decks for the establishment of a health insurance regulator, Bahrain Insurance Association (BIA) chairman Younis Jamal was quoted as saying in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.

"I expect the plan to be implemented by 2013-2014," Jamal said.

He was speaking during a Press conference yesterday at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Hotel and Spa called to announce plans for the hosting of the Middle East and North Africa region's first professional occupational insurance forum.

General Arab Insurance Federation (Gaif) general secretary Abdul Khaliq Rouf, who was also present, said health insurance remains one of the key under-penetrated markets which is expected to see high growth in the years to come.

"How the proposal is to be rolled out across the kingdom remains a very important issue not just for regional insurance community for the country as a whole.

"Mandatory health insurance will improve the penetration rate, enable insurers to better cover healthcare costs and alleviate pressure on the public healthcare system," Jamal said.

"Saudi Arabia has already rolled it out and the other countries of the GCC are expected to follow suit. The Bahraini government has in the past made clear its intention to make medical insurance compulsory for all expatriates from 2013." – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: GCC | expatriate | health insurance | Bahrain Insurance Association |

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