Bahrain insurance posts solid Q3 growth
Manama, January 22, 2013
Bahrain insurance market registered solid growth during the third quarter of 2012, with its gross premiums increasing to BD184.11 million ($480.6 million) by the end of September 2012, up 9 per cent over the same period a year ago.
Announcing this on Tuesday, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) attributed a significant part of the increase to a surge in long-term insurance (Life & Savings Products), registering around 17 per cent increase in gross premiums to reach BD42.34 million in September 2012 compared to BD36.06 million the previous year, representing almost 23 per cent of the gross premiums written in September 2012.
A remarkable growth was also reported under Motor insurance from BD41.68 million in September 2011 to BD46.56 million in September 2012, posting an increase of around 12 per cent.
The Motor insurance constituted the single largest class of business which represents almost 25 per cent of the gross premiums written in September 2012.
The growth in Motor insurance premiums were mainly due to the increase in number of new vehicles insured in Bahrain.
Moreover, the Takaful industry continued to expand with overall gross contributions of the firms operating in Bahrain, reaching BD41.87 million in September 2012, up from BD33.76 million in September 2011, an increase of around 24 per cent.
According to CBB, growth was also reported under medical insurance from BD30.41 million in September 2011 to BD32.01 million in September 2012, showing an increase of around 5 per cent. The Medical insurance premiums represented 17 per cent of the total premiums written by insurance market in Bahrain in September 2012.
Fire, Property & Liability insurance premiums represented 18 per cent of the total premiums written by insurance market in Bahrain in September 2012, the CBB report said.
Fire, Property & Liability insurance premiums totaled BD 33.82 million in September 2012 compared to BD 31.38 million in September 2011, showing an increase of almost 8 per cent, it added.
By end of September 2012, Bahrain's domestic insurance market comprised of 26 Locally Incorporated Firms and 11 Overseas Insurance Firms (branches of foreign companies) carrying out Insurance, Reinsurance, Takaful, Retakaful and Captives business in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The locally incorporated firms consisted of 14 Conventional Insurance Firms, 7 Takaful Firms, 2 Reinsurance Firms, 2 Retakaful Firms and 1 Captives, while Overseas Insurance Firms consists of 8 Conventional Insurance Firms and 3 Reinsurance Firms.
In addition, there are a substantial number of firms restricted to business outside Bahrain and insurance ancillary services.
“The insurance sector in Bahrain still holds tremendous promise for growth, as demonstrated by the industry’s strong performance not only during third quarter of 2012 but also during the past five years” said Abdul Rahman Al Baker, Executive Director, Financial Institutions Supervision, at the CBB.
“Bahrain is fast becoming a hub for major regional and international reinsurance and retakaful firms as evidenced by the increasing number of such firms that are established in the Kingdom,” he stated.
Al Baker said, “We expect the insurance sector to continue its growth momentum in the coming years, mainly due to the increase in the public awareness on the importance of the insurance products in general, as well as due to the surge in the economic growth of the Kingdom and the soundness of regulatory and supervisory framework of the insurance sector in Bahrain”.
Nader Al Mandeel, the director, Insurance Supervision Directorate, at the CBB said, "Due to the well established regulatory regime, a number of leading international insurance companies set up their insurance and reinsurance operations in Bahrain both in conventional and Takaful, which has further consolidated Bahrain global profile as a centre for finance."
"The increase of insurance ancillary services in Bahrain provides an important source of synergy to these international companies," he stated.
“The CBB continues to further enhance its regulatory framework to be in line with the best international financial standards and boost the confidence of the insurance licensees and general public,” added Al Mandeel.-TradeArabia News Service