Bahrain’s insurance industry grew by 3.1 per cent in the first half of 2023, with general insurance accounting for 90pc of the gross premiums written, shows the latest data from the financial sector regulator.
Gross premiums (conventional and takaful) reached BD151.49 million in H1-2023 up from BD 146.86m in the same period of 2022, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) said.
The insurance industry’s performance is in line with the overall economic growth of Bahrain, which is expected to grow by 3.5pc in 2023. The government’s efforts to promote financial inclusion and the growing awareness of the importance of insurance are also contributing to the industry’s growth.
Medical insurance premiums increased by 12pc to BD52.31m in the first half of 2023, making it the largest segment of the insurance market with 35pc share.
Motor insurance premiums grew by 8pc to BD38.89m, taking the second spot with 26pc share.
Life insurance and savings products (long-term insurance) premiums decreased by 33pc to BD15.90m, accounting for 10pc of the market.
Takaful premiums increased by 14pc to BD46.67m, representing 31pc of the market.
In the first half of 2023, Bahrain’s insurance market comprised of 21 locally incorporated firms and 10 overseas firms. The locally incorporated firms consisted of 12 conventional insurance firms, 5 takaful firms, 2 reinsurance firms, 1 retrocessional firm, and 1 captive. The overseas firms consisted of 9 conventional insurance firms and 1 reinsurance firm.
According to CBB executive director for financial institutions supervision Abeer Al Saad the kingdom’s insurance industry is a dynamic and evolving sector that is ripe for innovation.
“Raising insurance awareness and need will positively affect the insurance sector, and we urge companies to go beyond traditional approaches to provide services and explore innovative solutions to enhance the work efficiency and gain a competitive advantage,” she said.
Ms Al Saad added that local and international companies can use digital technologies, such as data analytics and artificial intelligence, to improve their risk assessment and provide innovative services that meet the evolving needs of individuals and businesses.
Commenting on the report, Elham Taleb, insurance supervision director at the CBB, said the Bahraini insurance industry is changing a lot because of the new international standard ‘IFRS17’ and other initiatives by the Central Bank of Bahrain.
IFRS17 is an accounting standard that will change the way insurance companies calculate their reserves. This is a major change that will require insurance companies to make significant investments in new technology and processes.
The Central Bank of Bahrain is also working on other initiatives to modernise the insurance sector. These include developing a new regulatory framework, promoting financial inclusion, and raising awareness of the importance of insurance.
“The initiatives affirm commitment and urge to advance the industry standards and ensure financial transparency with a focus on innovation, customer-centricity, and sustainability,” Ms Taleb added.
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