Lebanon's Insurance Sees Jump in Total Non-Life Premiums
Total non-life premiums generated in the Lebanese insurance market reached $869.6 million in 2011, constituting an increase of 7.6 percent from $808.1 million in 2011.
This compares to growth rates of 12.3 percent in 2010, 22 percent in 2009 and 22.4 percent in 2008.
Non-life premiums totaled $720 million in 2009, $590.5 million in 2008 and $482.7 million in 2007.
Non-life insurance penetration was equivalent to 2.1 percent of GDP while insurance density was at about $104.75 per capita in 2011, as reported by Lebanon This Week, Byblos Bankeconomic publication.
MEDGULF maintained its first place with $100.8 million in non-life premiums, followed by Bankers with $79.7 million, AXA Middle East with $71.6 million, Libano-Suisse with $56.8 million and AROPE with $54.9 million, as the top five non-life insurers.
The figures are compiled by Al-Bayan magazine in its annual survey of the insurance sector in Lebanon. Victoire, SAICO and Al-Bahria registered the highest jump in the rankings from last year among the 46 insurers operating in Lebanon, moving from 25th to 20th place, 36th to 31st place and 37th to 32nd place, respectively. Liberty posted the highest growth in premiums among all insurers in the survey at 95.5 percent year-on-year.
Byblos Bank’s insurance affiliate ADIR came in 15th place and remained among the top 15 firms with $19.1 million in non-life premiums.
There were seven advances and five declines in the rankings among the top 20 insurers, while eight other insurers’ rankings remained unchanged.
The composition of the top 10 insurers remained unchanged from 2010, while only two of the top 10 insurers posted decreases in their premiums and the remaining eight insurers posted increases in their non-life premiums, of which four insurers posted a double digit rise.
AXA Middle East and Fidelity recorded the biggest year-on-year increases at 32.5 percent and 13.4 percent respectively, among the top 10 insurers; while Victoire’s non-life premiums grew by 43.4 percent, highest among the top 20 insurers.
The rankings of three insurers changed among the country’s top 10 insures, with AXA Middle East improving from fifth to third place, Libano-Suisse dropping from third to fourth place and Arope falling from fourth to fifth place.
The top 10 insurers controlled 63.8 percent of the market last year compared to 64.3 percent in 2010, 65 percent in 2009 and 64.4 percent in 2008, while the top 20 insurers represented 84.8 percent of premiums compared to 85.4 percent in 2010, 86 percent in 2009 and 85.3 percent in 2008.
The aggregate non-life premiums of the top 10 insurers reached $554.7 million in 2011 compared to $519.8 million in 2010, $464.8 million in 2009 and $380.4 million in 2008.
Despite the growth of the insurance sector in Lebanon, this industry remains highly unregulated, and some companies struggle to break even.
The insurance sector’s premiums still represent a very small percentage of the country’s GDP.
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