28 February 2017 A E James
Muscat: Oman’s insurance companies have posted a 1.9 per cent growth in gross direct premium income at OMR454.64 million ($1.18 billion) in 2016, from OMR446.18 million for the previous year.
Life insurance portfolio posted a 213.3 per cent growth at OMR33.40 million in 2016, marking the highest rise among different insurance segments, the Capital Market Authority said in a report.
Likewise, health insurance posted a 12.5 per cent growth at OMR121.41 million, over the previous year. However, vehicle insurance declined to OMR157.89 million from OMR162.83 million during the period, while marine insurance stood more or less same at OMR14.17 million.
There was a decline in vehicle sales in the country last year.
The gross premium income from property insurance dropped to OMR43.18 million in 2016, from OMR47.04 million in the previous year, while engineering insurance premium was lower at OMR20.11 million (against OMR25.46 million in the previous year).
The CMA report also noted that the vehicle insurance has the biggest share in direct premium income with a 34.73 per cent share, followed by medical insurance.
The CMA report said that net direct premium income of insurance firms in Oman stood higher at OMR258.26 million in 2016, against OMR249.24 million for the previous year.
Like gross premium income, vehicle and medical insurance segments showed maximum share in this segment as well. The Sultanate has 22 insurance firms, which include almost 10 locally incorporated insurance companies.
Of this, four companies, including two Islamic insurance firms, are listed on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM).
The recent investment in infrastructure and better demand for medical insurance are driving the growth in premium income in Oman. Healthcare insurance is another growth area for Omani companies, with more and more locals going for medical cover.
Medical insurance is fast becoming top priority for local companies in the Sultanate.
The tendency of companies to make arrangements with designated clinics for providing healthcare facilities is becoming a story of the past, and a group medical coverage is now the norm, rather than the exception. © Times of Oman 2017