Auto insurance market expects growth with women drivers on the road

July 01, 2018

Layan Damanhouri

Saudi Gazette

– The motor insurance market is forecasted to witness unprecedented growth in the coming years with the gradual introduction of 3 million women drivers.

According to a recent PwC report, the motor insurance market is forecasted to grow by around 9 percent annually between now and 2020 to reach SR30 billion compared to an annual growth of 3 percent during the previous four years.

It is the second largest service line followed by the health insurance sector, according to research from BMI.

While the motor insurance market has witnessed steady growth over the years, the total motor insurance premium dropped by SR10.8 billion or 5 percent in 2017, due to the decline in the sale of comprehensive insurance policies and price competition.

Insurance brokers plan to tailor products and services to cover the Saudi female driver segment.

“As intermediaries, we welcome this growth as it will create more competition among motor insurance companies to provide the best products and services for our customers,” said Osama Abu Ghazaleh, general manager and executive vice president at ACE Insurance & Reinsurance Brokers Ltd.

He further said, “The insurance industry plays an important albeit somewhat hidden role in the road safety agenda. Insurance companies can better educate drivers by raising awareness on risk factors for road users, such as speeding, absence of seat belts, seasonality, causes of road accidents and the importance of safe road behavior."

He added: “The price and product structure can be an incentive to encourage safe driving. Insurers can offer low or no claim bonuses and discounts or safe driver’s premium incentives to good drivers. At the same time they may apply premium increases on drivers with accident records and a history of traffic fines.”

The Ministry of Interior estimates that an accident occurs every minute on the Kingdom's roads.

In 2017, there were over 460,000 accidents resulting in losses of over SR20 billion and 7,000 fatalities at an average of 20 deaths a day.

Over 30 percent of these occurred among young people aged 18 to 30 years.

The ministry also states that the majority, around 70 percent, of accidents occurs in rural areas.

Between 2006 and 2016, 78,487 people died from car accidents, making up 12 percent of deaths in the Kingdom.

Mirvat Halawani, heading the women’s branch of the auto insurance claims center at Salama Insurance that recently opened in Jeddah, said the number of female visitors has been modest.

“There is a limited number of women drivers so far so we expect more visitors after a few months. Women driving now will be learning how to deal with new issues, such as applying for auto insurance and how to deal with car accidents,” she said.

The women’s branch has so far made it easier for women to personally come file insurance claims for their drivers rather than have someone do it on her behalf. Other services are mainly guiding women on instructions and raising awareness in auto insurance, she said.

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