Strict Reinsurers, Price War Haunt Egypt Insurance Industry

IFE’s Waiting List: Mirco-Insurance, Healthcare Draft Laws

Bank Insurance Activation To Spur Companies’ Growth Rates

Egypt’s insurance companies are facing their biggest challenge after the foreign reinsurers start to impose stricter conditions for the renewal of the reinsurance agreements with the country. This comes in the light of the grave political risks as well as the national currency’s fall against the US dollar and the harmful competition between insurance firms which led to an escalating price war, said Mr. Abdel Raouf Kotb, chairman of the Insurance Federation of Egypt (IFE).

Mr. Kotb stressed that the federation is striving to face all the challenges plagued by the insurance sector in Egypt.

In his interview with Amwal Al Ghad, Mr. Kotb said the sector needs within the current phase the ratification of a number of law drafts, notably Micro-Insurance and the Healthcare laws. He referred that the Egyptian Central Bank’s decision to reactivate the bank insurance will spur the sector’s growth within the upcoming period.

The federation is looking forward to stimulating the insurance industry in Egypt through upgrading multiple fresh insurance products, notably mortgage and Egyptian expats’ insurance policies.

What are the main features of the federation’s strategy for the upcoming period?

The federation is planning to review the technical fundamentals of the insurance policies. It is also reviewing the guiding prices through making up the rules of the sound technical underwriting for the nation-wide insurance firms.

The federation is looking forward to improving the insurance coverage to meet the market’s needs and stimulating the country’s insurance industry through proving the technical expertise and cadres alongside holding training programs in cooperation with specialized institutes.

How can insurance companies apply these plans?

IFE will coordinate with insurance companies to regulate competition among them through setting laws and regulations that guarantee the soundness of their practices and the stability of the market and foster constructive competition. The federation also coordinates with the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to set the regulatory rules of ban insurance to be re-activated.

Insurance brokerage sector will also be developed through coordinating with EFSA to provide suitable training studies as well as cooperating and dealing with advanced insurance markets to boost the Egyptian insurance market.

How do you see the decision of the central bank’s governor concerning re-activating bank insurance in the next period?

Bank insurance is the lifeline of life insurance companies as it is one of the main marketing channels for these companies due to the banks’ broad customer base which will in turn raise insurance awareness and boost business results of banks and insurance companies in the upcoming period.

What are the main laws needed to be enacted to boost insurance sector in the next period?

The insurance sector requires the enactment of some laws to flourish such as the micro-insurance law which will boost the sector and the health care law because health care companies are currently working without a regulating law.

What are the important insurance documents that are currently studying by the Insurance Federation of Egypt?

We have already studied many insurance documents like the compulsory professional liability insurance particularly in the fields of medical, engineering and accounting professionals. Also we will finish forming the life insurance contracts in the Takaful insurance companies, besides preparing documents cover the micro-insurance, making ready the insurance project for the workers abroad and finally preparing a document to cover the real estate financing.

How can the insurance sector contribute to reviving the Egyptian economy in the coming period?

The insurance sector will assist in reviving the Egyptian economy through developing the insurance awareness, increasing the volume of the insurance market volume by the disciplined competition, improving the insurance coverage to meet the market’s needs and raising the compulsory coverage to protect the society and the national economy. This will positively reflect on the insurance sector development and boosting the premiums’ volume. Consequently, the insurance sector would be capable of contributing to the GDP and reflect positively on the Egyptian economy.

What are the challenges facing the insurance sector at the recent time?

The strictness of the reinsurers when they renew the last reinsurance agreements is one of the obstacles that confronted the sector external, while the internal challenges are represented in the harmful competition between the companies, which lead to a decline in the prices along with not following the proper technical basis in the underwriting. The federation is trying to counter these obstacles through setting conditions and the guiding prices at all the different insurance branches.

How Do You See Egypt’s hosting of The African Insurance Conference for the Second Time within 23 Years?

These conferences contribute to restore Egypt’s Arab and regional role and it will have an economic impact representing in the revitalization of the tourism and traffic sectors, therefore a significant economy will take place in the Egyptian market.

The participation of all African firms helps to strengthen relations, exchange experiences and study the reinsurance agreements between the Egyptian and African firms, as well as creating new relationships between the firms and brokers , and this is the practical and marketing side for the conferences.