April 2014

Talk Around the Bazaar

Saudi Arabia recently passed a new law requiring certain types of business to put in place third party liability insurance. The law came into force on the 21st February 2014. Clyde & Co has a full report on this at http://www.clydeco.com/insight/updates/mandatory-liability-insurance-regime-in-saudi-arabia1

Impending changes to mandatory insurance legislation is reported in Belarus where two forms of liability insurance will be expanded. Clear and concise details are provided by the Belarusian Telegraph Agency at http://news.belta.by/en/news/econom?id=743409

CIC Insurance Group in Kenya does not figure in the top ten insurance companies in the country but it makes an impact by being a leading Micro Insurance provider offering General Insurance, Group life and Individual life insurance and Health Management products throughout the country. Recently, the company announced radical plans to open subsidiaries in South Sudan, Uganda and Malawi. This is a daring move, as one will understand, with the security situation in the South Sudanese countryside still so insecure as a result of the conflict with Sudan. All the same, there are people who need insurance assistance and CIC will be one of the few carriers local people can rely on. Business & Tech has the full story at http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/business/2014/03/cic-insurance-in-sh1-2bn-regional-expansion/

Another African country where many would not consider investing is Nigeria. There, market volatility along with increasing catastrophe losses are notorious but that does not seem to deter foreign operators from eyeing the market. For a country whose GDP is not far behind South Africa, there must be potential for the right carriers to approach the market carefully and find a secure footing. Business Day discusses some of the issues at http://businessdayonline.com/2014/03/foreign-operators-eyeing-nigerian-market/#.UzL6rs7n00K

Doha Insurance Company (http://www.dicqatar.com/) is one of the newest and largest carriers in Qatar and it is also eying other countries for expansion. Currently only operating in Qatar, after extending its offerings to include takaful activities in accordance with Islamic Sharia principles, it is now looking further afield to the surrounding GCC countries. The excellent Peninsular has the detail at http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/business/qatar-business/275862/doha-insurance-looks-to-expand-in-gcc-market

One has to be more than careful, when operating as a foreign insurer in the Middle East, as Doha’s compatriot, the Qatar Financial Centre, points out in their report reviewed by Intelligent Insurer, http://www.intelligentinsurer.com/news/prospects-for-foreign-insurers-deteriorate-in-mena-1934?utm_source=Insurance&utm_campaign=2148ce56c1-Intelligent_Insurer_Weekly_17_03_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f246694353-2148ce56c1-27166897

We are told that there were 94 shipping losses in 2013, down from 117 in 2012. Piracy attacks were down by 11%. To find the actual figure, as well as reports on Arctic traffic and other interesting statistics, Allianz has the lot in an authoritative publication at http://www.agcs.allianz.com/assets/PDFs/Reports/Shipping-Review-2014.pdf

According to a survey by the Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA, http://www.cicaworld.com/index.aspx), the number of captives writing employee benefits could double in the next three years. Captive Review looks at this positive development at http://www.captivereview.com/news/1740377/cica-survey-captives-poised-to-write-benefits.thtml

It will be interesting to see how America’s newest captive haven approaches the idea of writing employee benefit business. In September 2013, Texas law allowed the formation of pure captives (as reported by Business Insurance http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20130605/NEWS06/130609915) and in March this year, the first captive was licensed. Business Insurance reports on this at http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20140319/NEWS06/140319790 and we look forward to reading when Cart Assurance or any other captive starts writing employee benefit business

Companies in the United States are so concerned about the growth in litigation funding in Australia, the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform is working with Australian law firms to forward recommendations for law reform.  For clarity in this increasingly emotional area, our friends at JMD Ross (http://www.jmdross.com.au/) will be pleased to help

Mitigating the spreading threat of cyber crime requires a commitment to cooperation between risk managers, brokers and insurers, speakers said at the ninth annual Symposium given by Minneapolis-based brokerage Hays Companies in Chicago in March. Business Insurance reported on this at http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20140321/NEWS06/140329958 and a glance at the Hays website tells readers more about this effective and successful outfit at http://www.hayscompanies.com/events/9th-annual-hays-companies-symposium/

Famous quotations. Here are some words of wisdom which have survived the passage of time…

· “Things are beautiful if you love them” – Jean Anouilh

· “June’s too soon, July’s too late” – Siberian saying