Insurance industry in QFC shows resilience despite challenges related to pandemic

September 29, 2020

Doha: The insurance industry in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority has proved its resilience despite the unprecedented challenges faced by the insurers due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). And the industry is expected to face other challenges and opportunities in the coming days, said a senior official of the QFC Regulatory Authority at an event yesterday.

Ewald Müller, Managing Director, Supervision & Authorisation, Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority, while speaking at a webinar on ‘Insurance in the QFC – where we are, where do we go?’ said: “The insurance industry in the QFC has shown resilience in these trying times of COVID-19. Other challenges and opportunities still abound.”

The webinar was hosted by Sharq Insurance, a subsidiary of Doha Bank, on the subject “Insurance Industry trends, Opportunities, resilience and Emerging Outlook”.

Dr R Seetharaman, Group CEO, Doha Bank gave insight on Global economy. He said “According to IMF June 2020” Global economy is projected at –4.9 percent in 2020, “He highlighted the challenges faced by Global economy due to COVID 19. He emphasized that we should take efforts to come back to normalcy. The concerns of second wave of COVID-19 remain, medicine for the entire global population.

Commenting on the local economy, he said that in Qatar downside risks from COVID-19 put pressure on economy. The pressure felt on real estate, trade, hospitality which are key sources of insurance business. He also highlighted on key developments in Qatar which includes its FIFA Stadiums airport, investment programme, Food Security, Investment law, new property Law and the relevant insurance offerings applicable in each segment. He believes that Sharq Insurance will support Qatar’s economic diversification.

Fadhel Al Sabea, Chief Underwriting Officer – P&C, Hannover Rueck SE spoke on “Prevailing reinsurance market conditions and expectations for the 2021 renewal”.

He said “We expect to see hardening market conditions, price increase and better contract certainty for the 2021 January renewal. There will be higher demand for quality reinsurance capacity.” Jonathan Matchett, Partner, MENA Insurance Leader, Ernst & Young spoke on “Impacts of COVID-19 on the MENA Insurance Markets”.

He said “The MENA Insurance industry is going through an unprecedented level of change and disruption, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharq Insurance is a long term and valued partner to EY and we appreciate the opportunity to present our point of view on what the insurance industry needs to do to respond to these challenges”. Ian Charles Gault, Country Manager – Senior Major and Complex Loss Division, Sedgwick Loss Adjusting spoke on “Local/Regional position of property and construction insurance claims. Effect of Current geopolitical & health positions on notification & handling of claims.”

He said “The World is facing unparalled challenges in 2020. These challenges are magnified in the Gulf Regions where additional factors influence the Insurance Industry. With a region-wide presence Sedgwick is at the forefront of delivering professional loss adjusting services to local, regional and international Insurers and Reinsurers. Sedgwick is delighted to be invited to take part in this webinar organized by Sharq Insurance”. Carl Roberts, Country Manager and Regional Head of Business Interruption Claims, Sedgwick Loss adjusting spoke on “Business interruption – COVID Coverage issues”

He said: “We are in a time of unprecedented challenges to the modern world brought on by COVID-19 and the impact that this has had on our society. This is our opportunity as an industry to rise to the challenges and support our teams, clients and other stakeholders through this difficult period.”

Ziad Kharma, Vice-President of Business Development, Actuarial and Data Science, GlobMed - leading Healthcare Benefits Management in MENA Region. He said: “As GlobeMed we are proud of our strategic long business partnership with Doha Bank and Sharq Insurance and I appreciated the opportunity to be part of this webinar along with the rest of the prestigious speakers. It was an essential opportunity to engage with other industry leaders on emerging trends in the insurance arena and how we can collaborate in meeting current and future challenges.”

Omer Morshed, CEO of Sidat Hyder Morshed Associates, SHMA Consulting spoke on ‘IFRS 17- Major Change on the Horizon’. He said: “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

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