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Wary reinsurers adjust Nat CAT coverage

International reinsurers are starting to categorise the Middle East as a Nat CAT hot spot, given the increased frequency of natural hazards in the region in recent years, according to Apex-Egypt Reinsurance Brokerage managing director Khaled El-Sayed.

Nat CAT events in places like Oman, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have led to a change in reinsurers’ views of the region, reported Al Mal News citing Mr El-Sayed.

He said that reinsurers have started to revise limits on the coverage of natural perils in riders on fire insurance policies.

In another development, some reinsurers have asked insurers in Egypt to set a separate premium for natural disaster insurance coverage.

Mr El-Sayed said that the reinsurers’ actions have attracted attention as deliberations are taking place on the pricing of fire risk. Disaster coverage is added in riders on fire insurance policies.

He expected that these external pressures would lead the local market to establish an insurance pool against natural hazards, with members sharing the premiums and payouts.

Mr El-Sayed also called for services from CAT modelling companies, to help the government and insurance companies predict these risks and prepare for them.

Other industry players are urging the government to make Nat CAT insurance coverage mandatory in Egypt. The country currently does not have a national reinsurer. In 2007, the then national reinsurer Egypt Re was liquidated.

In recent years, major disasters that have occurred in the region included destructive floods in countries like Oman and the UAE, and earthquakes in Morocco and Turkiye. The 6 February 2023 Kahramanmaras earthquake is listed by several reinsurers as the biggest loss-making single event for the year. The disaster cost losses of around $6bn for the global insurance industry.


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