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s the recent host of the International Insurance Society’s 45th Annual Seminar in Amman,
A
Jordan is fast emerging as a centre of excellence in the region for insurance knowledge
and innovation.
revised investment-oriented regulations in the Middle East and north Africa (MEnA) are
revolutionising the region’s investment climate. new rules and guidance have helped create a
conducive regulatory setting, taxation flexibility and exemptions for non-domiciled companies,
and reasonable capital requirements.
This is eminently apparent in Jordan, with its highly skilled workforce, consistent legal systems
and high-quality financial infrastructure.
Innovations in several MEnA countries have been concomitant with overall economic
growth in the region, helping liberalise markets and aiding the development of a vibrant
re/insurance market.
demand for re/insurance is growing fast. driven by a growing awareness of the benefits of
insurance cover, increased health consciousness and facilitating governmental procedures, the
“Among the strengths that
growth has added to a rapidly developing consumer base and expanding population. Total
premiums in the Middle East topped $13.1 billion in 2009, up from $10.9 billion in 2008.
international investors
Forecasts predict a notable rise over the next three years.
will find in Jordan is its
Such rapid and relatively consistent growth offers insurers working in the MEnA region—whether
young, energetic and highly
established or new start-ups—a pool of constantly emerging opportunities, with a favourable mix
empowered population of
of low penetration rates of around one percent and the prospect of future growth.
around 6.3 million. Jordan
Another distinctive feature of the region is the fact that more than half the population
comprises young people, who are educated and receptive to insurance services.
is well known for providing
In addition, the takaful (Islamic) insurance industry, whose global market is expected to grow
neighbouring insurance
five-fold by 2015 to cater for the quarter of the world’s population that follow the Muslim faith,
markets with the brainpower
will emerge as a substantial opportunity. The MEnA region is expected to play a major role
in the growth of the takaful financial industry, having accounted for some 50 percent of all
responsible for a considerable
takaful in the recent past.
portion of the region’s growth.”
As a MEnA country, Jordan not only scores highly on economic and insurance growth
indicators, it is also developing all the requirements of a regional insurance centre.
REGIONAL HUB
The Jordan insurance sector has shown consistent growth in gross written premiums year
on year, with a 14.1 percent rise in 2008 compared to the previous year. Potentially insurable
activities will continue to grow, especially with the expanding market for medical cover and
life assurance.
domestic gross premiums written represent around 2.5 percent of gdP, according to
a recent report by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) dated April 8, 2009, which honed in on the
Jordanian population’s appreciation of insurance. “Jordanian insurers have the advantage of
talking to an already well-informed, potentially interested target market when they seek to sell
supplementary forms of cover,” according to the S&P report.
Jordan’s encouraging insurance outlook is not limited to domestic insurers. The country’s
characteristics qualify it as a suitable domicile for international insurance players seeking to
operate in the MEnA countries. Jordan is politically stable and secure; is strategically placed
geographically as a junction between Asia, the gulf States, north Africa and Europe; and has
44 | INTELLIGENT INSURER | September 2009
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