Seminar highlights growth potential in insurance industry

Muscat - 

The Omani French Friendship Association (OFA) on Wednesday organised a seminar to discuss the evolution of insurance industry in the sultanate.

The event was held at Fraser Suits Muscat hotel and was attended by a number of industry officials from the sultanate and representatives of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI).

Speaking at the event, Houssam Tabbara, an expert of insurance industry, said that Oman’s insurance industry has huge potential to grow in near future as insurance penetration in the country is much lower than other developed countries, particularly in the life-insurance segment. In Oman, gross written premiums contributes around 1.63 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP), whereas the same in case of emerging markets is around 3.2 per cent and globally the number stood at 6.3 per cent.

“In most developed countries, life insurance claims the top spot when it comes to contribution to the total premiums. However, in the GCC and Oman the situation is different as non-life insurance, particularly motor insurance, dominates the market,” Tabbara said while adding that the introduction of mandatory health insurance could give a boost to the sultanate’s insurance industry.

He said life insurance penetration is low in the region due to the presence of generous social welfare schemes for local population along with lack of awareness for life insurance. Tabbara advocates the usage of artificial intelligence to boost the growth and control slippages in the insurance industry. Patrick Choffel, former CEO of Oman Insurance Company and board member of OFA, highlighted the need for tapping huge remittances flowing out of the GCC region for the future growth in the insurance industry.

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