The insurance sector has significantly grown in 2009, leading MENA region in terms of total insurance premiums to GDP.
Lebanon's insurance penetration rate known as total insurance premiums to GDP was 3.1 percent in 2009 compared to 3.4 percent in 2008, leading Lebanon in the Middle East and North Africa MENA region for the fifth year in a row. According to the report published by Bank Audi's Weekly Monitor, global reinsurer Swiss Re, said that Lebanon ranked the first in the (MENA) in terms of total insurance premiums to GDP in 2009. Lebanon ranked 48th globally in terms of insurance premiums to GDP in the report entitled "World Insurance in 2009. The world’s largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, founded in 1863, operates in more than 30 countries.
“In Lebanon, life premiums accounted for 24.4 percent of total premiums in 2009 with $232 million, versus a higher 32.9 percent in the previous year, while the non-life business, or general insurance market, continued to represent the bulk of insurance activity in Lebanon, with 75.6 percent, or $720 million, against a lower 67.1 percent in 2008.”
"Here, one should note that life premiums in Lebanon declined by a yearly 20 percent in 2009, while non-life premiums grew by an annual 22 percent in 2009. Still, the life insurance segment seems quite developed in Lebanon compared to the rest of the MENA region, as life insurance activity accounted for 17.8 % of the total MENA insurance market size in 2009," Bank Audi's report said.
The life insurance segment seems quite developed in Lebanon compared to the rest of the MENA region, as life insurance activity accounted for 17.8 percent of the total MENA insurance market size in 2009," the report states.
It added that in the region, Lebanon ranked ahead of Morocco with 2.8 percent (50th worldwide 2.5 percent (55th), and Jordan with 2.3 percent (56th).
The MENA average insurance penetration ratio stood at 1.7 percent, but remained far from the world average of 7.0 percent, thus reflecting a strong potential for further expansion. The report said that naturally, the non-life insurance market continued to account for the majority of the MENA insurance activity, with a share of 82.2 percent. Lebanon's insurance premiums accounted for 5.1 percent of total premiums in the MENA region in 2009.
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