General Manager, Al Sagr Insurance
Ever since I came to Dubai, prices have dropped drastically, whether it was due to the economic boom or recession. Perhaps the only exception is in the medical business to a certain extent, which has experienced market fluctuations. Automotive rates have, however, dipped by about 50% and property rates have dropped significantly, too. This is very disappointing since as the rates drop, standards will do so too, as underwriters become tempted to approach non-rated entities. In effect, what differentiates a non-reputed insurance company from a reputable one is the underwriter’s willingness to opt for fast business in questionable markets, which are way above treaty limits. On the other hand, rated entities such as AA- or AAA-type companies will naturally have rates that are proportionately higher. Many clients tend to be very price conscious at the expense of all other imperative criteria, such as service and quick claims settlement. The real test that they may experience is when they are exposed to claims. Is their claim being handled efficiently and do they receive fair compensation? In essence, rated companies that are backed by first-class reinsurance securities are certainly efficient and pay claims faster than non-rated ones. In reality, there are too many players operating in a relatively small market. There are approximately 62 insurance companies and 300 brokers operating today, and all are battling for a slice of the pie.
General Manager, Alliance Insurance
It is often argued that the insurance sector is a rather traditional industry in its approach. When companies offer the same products and services, differentiation can only come from creating new innovative ideas and products, and by offering more enhanced services that will set one apart from the rest. In Alliance’s case, we use our company’s positive reputation and focus on our many years of solid history, financial strength, and ratings of A- (excellent) from AM BEST. Our long roster of clients has been with us for many years and is a testimony of confidence and trust in our services and financial strength. If what is meant by number one is the topline, we at Alliance tend to focus more on the bottom-line. Achieving high premiums means a radical approach of risk taking and reduction in rates. Our concern is the kind of risk we want to engage in, which is aligned with our overall strategy. We focus on proper risk assessments and proper technical pricing of our products. Yet we see fierce competition nowadays focused on rates, which is unnecessary and harmful for all parties concerned.
Chief Executive Officer Middle East, Chris Divito
With every venture Standard Life becomes involved in, there is a long process before it reaches the market. There are a number of reasons why we came to Dubai, the first of which is that it is an area of solid economic growth. Indeed, within the Middle East, we view Dubai as a flagship location of robust growth. Secondly, from a financial regulation perspective, we see a strong system. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is our regulator, and it is very similar to the UK regulator in terms of structure. Beyond that, when we consider the customer base that we target, there are many non-resident expatriates that demand our services. This strong and abundant population is a third reason for our decision to do business here. We welcome any regulation that strengthens the financial environment. The mortgage cap regulation does not affect us directly, and although there has been much dialogue in the market about the new law, we are essentially awaiting further clarification on the regulation before it is fully implemented.
UAE, UAE, DUBAI - Health & Education
President & Head MEA Cluster, Novartis
UAE, UAE, DUBAI - Telecoms & IT
Senior Director and General Manager for United Arab Emirates, DELL Technologies
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