Unaudited financial statements for the first quarter show a 2.2 per cent dip in direct insurance premiums in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Capital Market Authority (CMA), the insurance sector regulator.
Gross direct premiums totaled RO 149.2 million during Q1 2020 compared with RO 152 million for the corresponding period of 2019. Insurance companies paid RO 48.8 million in net claims this year, an 11 per cent increase over RO 43.8 million in claims made in Q1 2019. Earned premiums climbed to RO 76 million, up from RO 75 million in Q1 2019. Net commissions declined more than 100 per cent to RO 909,000.
The performance of insurance products in the first three months of the current year was mixed. The uptake of motor insurance products was up 35 per cent, while property insurance was up 20 per cent. Gross premium collected against liability insurance rose 9 per cent. This product covers claims by third parties for compensation and damage towards loss incurred in property accidents or bodily injuries or death related to a third party.
The first quarter of the current year witnessed a sharp decline in the demand for various insurance products. Life assurance and motor insurance fell 10 per cent. Engineering insurance decreased by 4.4 per cent and health insurance dipped 1 per cent.
With regard to the distribution of direct premiums of insurance products, health insurance topped the list with a 41 per cent market share, followed by motor insurance (22 per cent), property insurance (12 per cent), engineering (5 per cent), transport (4 per cent), liability (two per cent), and other products (4 per cent). The share of life insurance was 10 per cent.
The Omani insurance market closed the year 2019 with positive growth indicators to reach RO 486.5 million compared to RO 463.5 at the end of 2018. The sector’s indicators show that the average growth of insurance premiums during the past five years was 4 per cent. Gross direct premiums increased by 5 per cent to RO 425.8 million in 2019 compared by RO 403.9 million in 2018. The share of general insurance was 87.5 per cent of the total insurance portfolio with increase in life insurance by 2 per cent to RO 60.7 million in 2019 compared to RO 59.6 million in 2018 where the share of the life insurance was 12.5 per cent of the total insurance portfolio.