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PwC – Middle East Insurance Industry Beyond COVID-19

Executive summary :

As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, insurers’ strategic focus is now turning to what the competitive landscape will look like in the aftermath, what it means for their business, and how to come out in front. If you’re an insurance leader, focusing on key priorities will help you to be stronger and more resilient in the post-crisis world.

 The Digital Insurer reviews PwC’s Report on Middle East Insurance Industry Beyond COVID-19

Focus on building the new normal

First principles

The novel coronavirus continues to cast a long shadow on societies, economies and businesses worldwide. As an insurer, your immediate imperatives have been business continuity and customer and employee support. The industry has generally responded well, enabling remote work and addressing immediate capital questions.

Even in the pre-COVID era, the growth rates in most of the Middle East insurance markets have been subdued over the last few years, primarily due to the slowdown in the economy and lower oil prices. On the supply side, industry continued to face the issue of fragmentation and lack of scale, resulting in ever-increasing challenges around profitability.

New approaches

It’s too early to gauge the impact on premiums / top-line and profitability, however, just like other segments of the economy, the insurers will be impacted as a result of the economic slowdown emanating post-COVID; unprecedented low oil prices; and delays / postponement of projects and scheduled events e.g. UAE Expo 2020. Another area that may have a significant impact is investment income due to lower interest rates; subdued equity markets; and drop in real estate rentals and valuation.

On the positive side, claims incidents in some lines e.g. motor / industrial coverage, should reduce significantly due to government imposed lockdowns. We are already seeing some insurers ploughing such savings into a pool, that is being used to offer premium reliefs / special discounts and loyalty rewards.

Prepare for the new normal

Now, as insurers learn to manage through the immediate crisis and governments begin to tentatively ease restrictions, two key considerations emerge. The first is operational: how to prepare your organisation for the return to work in this ‘new normal.’ Although this will be a new and difficult challenge, it should be resolvable in the near term. The other, and in many ways trickier, thing you’ll need to do is to determine what the mid to long-term implications of the crisis are and how you should respond strategically.

As insurers work through the strategic implications of COVID-19 for their business, there are six dimensions that should be considered (see graphic).

Strategy adjustments should be done with COVID-19 progression scenarios in mind, and in consideration of the challenges for the insurance sector. To make decisions, you should be armed with the best available data regarding health impacts modelling, as well as the projected economic impacts of government stimulus packages.

See the full report for more…

Link to Full Article:: click here

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