"Pakistan Insurance Report 2014" is now available at Fast Market Research
New Financial Services research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research
[UKPRwire, Mon Nov 25 2013] As is the case in previous years, it is very easy to identify points of weakness in Pakistan's insurance sector. Non-life penetration and life density - our key metrics - are at very low levels. Because of declining motor premiums, non-life penetration has been falling. The largest companies in each of the main segments are public sector entities that are manifestly less dynamic than their private sector rivals.
Over 90% of the population does not use life insurance. Only four multi-national insurers - MetLife Alico (in life), AIG (in non-life), Allianz (in health insurance) and Hollard (in life) consider it desirable to maintain a presence. Most of the non-life insurers are tiny companies with low retention ratios and low pricing power. None of the largest indigenous companies have scale in an international context.
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Takaful contributions are minimal - despite being the country with the world's second- or third- largest Muslim population.
Nevertheless, Pakistan, like Kenya (the country with which BMI considers Pakistan to be most comparable), has a national insurance sector where resilience and innovation are very key concepts. In total contrast to other countries with very challenging political, security and economic environments, the 'big three' indigenous groups - EFU, Jubilee and (if to a lesser extent) Adamjee - have worked to develop a vibrant and significant life insurance segment. State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC), the state-owned titan that still accounts for over 60% of life premiums has done its part too. The big three's general insurance operations are characterised by broad product portfolios, multi-channel distribution and innovation. The National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) is playing an important role in the development of microinsurance, which the government sees as a key priority - and one that is more important than the promotion of Takaful. Interestingly, both Kenya and Pakistan are countries in which the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) and affiliated institutions have an involvement in insurance through the Jubilee companies.
The latest results that have been published by the listed companies in relation to H113 confirm that growth continues apace - particularly in the life segment. In spite of the low retention ratios, Pakistan's insurers appear not to have suffered from the general rise in rates and prices in the global reinsurance market through the first half of 2012.
As of late 2013, one wildcard is the government's announcement of plans to privatise SLIC and NICL (among other state-owned enterprises). Depending on who ultimately buys the minority stakes (with management control) that are on offer, this could prove to be a catalyst for a new round of positive change in the insurance sector.
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