Islamic Finance

SAMA: Saudi Insurance Sector Grew 8% in 2019

Published 13 Jul,2020 via Asharq Alawsat (English Edition) - Saudi Arabia’s insurance sector witnessed a growth of 8 percent in 2019, marking the first increase in three years, with total written premiums reaching SR37.8 billion, announced the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

SAMA issued its 13th annual report on the Saudi Insurance market which highlights the performance of the insurance sector in 2019 and the sector's contribution to the Kingdom's gross domestic product.

The penetration ratio of the sector increased from 1.2 percent in 2018 to 1.28 percent in 2019, with an insurance density increase of 5.7 percent over 2018 to reach SR1.1.

However, the overall loss ratio remained stable and improvements for health insurance were largely offset by an increase in the loss ratio for motor insurance.

The report also indicated that the net profit, after zakat and tax, for the sector increased more than two folds over the last year’s corresponding figure, improving the return-on-assets and return-on-equity ratios.

The overall Saudization ratio increased from 72 percent in 2018 to 74 percent in 2019.

It also highlighted major regulatory and other developments during the year, including issuance of new “Actuarial Work Regulations and Rules” for licensing foreign branches, progress in IFRS17 implementation journey, increase merging and acquisition activity and expansion of Aggregators' channel to the benefit of policyholders

These developments are positive signs for the insurance sector and are consistent with SAMA's efforts to make the insurance sector a greater contributor to the economy while also ensuring policyholder protection and fair pricing of products are maintained.

This will lead to an increase in policyholders and beneficiaries' satisfaction and trust in the insurance sector, according to the report.

In addition, a statement issued Sunday stressed that SAMA's continuous efforts to increase Saudization across multiple levels in the insurance sector are yielding positive results.

The next step will be to ensure that the insurance sector invests sufficiently in the training and development of Saudi human resources to ensure they are qualified and rise to senior and technical positions.

The Authority will continue to motivate the insurance sector to invest in infrastructure and technological systems to promote innovation which will provide the best products and services for insurance policyholders and beneficiaries.

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