Insurance development in the Arab world : an analysis of the relationship between available domestic retention capacity and the demand for international reinsurance
This thesis is concerned with an examination of the available domestic retention capacity and the demand for international reinsurance in the Arab World. The study has been broken down into the following basic components: 1. The development of the insurance markets of the Arab countries is traced against the background of the economic, political, demographic and other changes, including the growth of demand for insurance, that have occurred in the region over the last few decades. 2. Insurance legislation and supervision, which varies greatly throughout the Arab region, is examined in order to identify the effect it may have on the development of national markets. 3. The market capacity required for the insurance of large risks and natural hazards is analysed, revealing that normal reinsurance arrangements and local retention capacity can absorb only a very small proportion of those risks; and that Arab insurers have a growing need for catastrophe excess of loss reinsurances. 4. The performance of Arab reinsurance companies and pools as a means of improving retention capacity is examined based on data collected from two reinsurance companies and five pools, to demonstrate how retention capacity can be improved. 5. Finally, a theoretical and empirical investigation is conducted into the determination of retention limits. Factors relevant to decisions on fixing retention limits are examined, and the relationship of company objectives to retention limits and the effect of different forms of reinsurance on the size of retained premium income are discussed. The study ends with an analysis of the fire, marine cargo and motor reinsurance programmes of two Arab insurance companies to see whether their retention policies are in line with accepted reinsurance practice or whether they could retain more of their business for their own account. The Arab insurance industry is still in its infancy, with all the attendant inadequacies such a state implies which brings with it two major problems - the inability of retention capacity of local insurers to respond sufficiently rapidly to changes in the economies of Arab countries and the heavy reliance on foreign reinsurance, which in turn leads to low retained premium income. It is hoped that this thesis will have provided an insight into ways in which Arab insurers and reinsurers could themselves meet more of their countries' insurance needs.