QIC Group reports 11 % growth in Net Profits at  QAR 194.6 million

QIC Group reports 11 % growth in Net Profits at QAR 194.6 million

QLNews
By QLNews

Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), the leading insurer in Qatar and the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, has reported a net profit of QR 194.6 million for the first quarter of 2024, rising from QAR 175 million over the same period in 2023 with a 11% growth. Following a meeting of the Board of Directors dated April 29, 2024, which was presided over by Sheikh Hamad bin Faisal bin Thani Jasim Al Thani, Chairman of QIC Group, the Board approved the financial results.

Sheikh Hamad bin Faisal Al Thani, Chairman of QIC Group, stated: “QIC begins 2024 in excellent financial health. The first quarter of the year saw the company consolidate and build upon the progress it made over the previous year – with a renewed focus on strengthening profitable domestic and regional businesses, extending its exceptional digital offering, and strategically improving its international operations while reducing exposure to underperforming markets. In spite of a global macroeconomic environment that remains uncertain in the near term and geopolitical challenges, QIC continues to enjoy robust growth through its core business lines, strong financials, and stable sources of income.”

Mr. Salem Khalaf Al Mannai, Chief Executive Officer of QIC Group, said, “QIC has delivered a very encouraging set of results in Q1 2024, with the highlights including major growth in its MENA direct business. Gross Written Premiums for the period stood at QAR 2.75 billion – a result underpinned by the company’s strategy of increasing the proportion of its premiums generated in domestic and MENA markets.

Mr. Mannai further added: “QIC’s digital innovation in particular continues to be a key point of competitive differentiation for the company. Through multiple new features introduced to the online and mobile platforms in Q1 2024, our customers in Qatar and across the GCC can expect unparalleled convenience when onboarding and fulfilling their digital needs, which is reflected in the record numbers of users that are now utilising these channels.  QIC is proud to once again have been named ‘Insurer of the Year in Qatar’ at the MENA IR Awards 2024, for the third consecutive year and “Best Travel Insurance Company in The Middle East” for the second consecutive year at the Global Banking & Finance Review Awards 2024. The company has also engaged in a number of exciting recent initiatives – from operating an innovation-focused booth at Web Summit Qatar 2024, the world’s largest tech conference, to promoting insurance literacy in Qatar through a new Edutainment establishment for young people.”

Financial Overview

The global macroeconomic environment remains volatile in early 2024, amid geopolitical shocks and persistent inflation. While interest rates have stabilised from record highs, and are projected to have peaked, there are some indications that central banks may not lower rates until later this year, or into 2025. There are few signs yet that the hard insurance market we have seen over the past five years – characterised by higher premiums and stricter policy terms – is entering a softer phase, though according to historical fluctuations, a shift may be forthcoming.

 

Catastrophic events in the first quarter of 2024 will also have an impact on global insurance markets in the months ahead. In the MENA region, an unprecedented period of severe rainfall and flooding in the UAE that began in March is anticipated to lead to a sharp rise in motor and property damage claims in the country, much of the costs of which will be absorbed by the international reinsurance industry. In the US, the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore is expected to lead to multi-billion dollar insured losses, placing the incident among the largest marine insurance losses ever recorded.

Strategically focusing on domestic and regional insurance markets for growth

Against this backdrop, QIC’s Q1 results are testament to the effectiveness of the company’s longer-term strategy of focusing on profitable markets in Qatar and the MENA region, while exiting loss making and low margin international businesses. Domestic and MENA operations Gross Written Premiums (GWP) reached QAR 1.4 billion in Q1 2024, compared to QAR 0.9 billion in the same period in 2023.

 

The effects of this strategy are evident in the striking changes in the composition of QIC’s premiums over recent years. As of Q1 2024, the MENA region contributes 52% of the company’s overall Gross Written Premiums (the remaining 48% being generated internationally) – compared to MENA premiums of 19% in 2020 (with 81% generated internationally).

In terms of lines of business, QIC is expanding its focus on the provision of personal lines and health insurance, which has almost trebled as a percentage of Gross Written Premiums in recent times (from 5% of GWP in 2022 to 14% in 2023), as well as marine & aviation insurance (from 10% of GWP in 2022 to 14% in 2023).

 

The company has reduced its exposure to the motor insurance market (from 45% of GWP in 2022 to 32% in 2023), particularly in the UK – which has been adversely affected by supply chain challenges influenced by Brexit, resulting in greater volatility and risk. However, it continues to prioritise its motor insurance business in the MENA region with a best-in-class online offering.

 

QIC’s slimmed down international operations have continued to perform strongly in the first quarter of 2024, with increasingly healthy combined ratios – reinforcing the company’s international turnaround story. This has largely been driven by the success of Antares Global brand – which is primarily driven by  Antares Lloyds Syndicate with a premium volume of QAR 1.3 billion in Q1 2024, compared to QAR 1.8 billion in the same period last year.

Investment performance

In spite of macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges, QIC reported an investment income of QAR 227 million for Q1 2024, compared to QAR 223 million for the same period in 2023. The return on investment came in at 5.2%, compared to 5.1% last year.

The composition of QIC’s investment portfolio has remained stable and consistent with the previous year.

Key areas of focus

Upgraded Digital Offerings across the GCC

QIC’s primary focus in Q1 2024 was to enhance the digital experience of its retail customers in key markets across the GCC region – including Qatar, UAE and Oman – making it more convenient than ever before to obtain and manage policies.

In Qatar, QIC has introduced personalized features on its award-winning portal (qic.online), which now offers each customer segment customized onboarding streams tailored to their needs for motor, outbound travel, and mandatory visitors’ health insurance products. Moreover, the company continued to upgrade its mobile insurance offerings, incorporating new features and services to its qd Drive app, which makes drivers' lives easier and their experiences on the roads safer. QIC also brought two new online solutions (ae.qic.online and qic.om) to its customers in the UAE and Oman, further enhancing the speed and ease of the policy registration process.

These upgrades have significantly reduced turnaround time for QIC’s customers, particularly when onboarding. The company has seen customer use of online channels to fulfil their insurance needs hit record highs, as well as higher levels of digital sales in key personal lines products.

QIC named ‘Insurer of the Year in Qatar’ for the third consecutive year

In February 2024, QIC was once again honored at the prestigious MENA IR Awards 2024 by being named ‘Insurer of the Year in Qatar’ for the third year in a row. The award was testament to QIC’s exceptional performance in terms of product digitization and customer experience over the previous 12 months – including the launch of the fastest digital service to help visitors to Qatar obtain mandatory health policies in line with new travel requirements, and the expansion of its network of branches across the country.

QIC Crowned Best Travel Insurance Company in The Middle East

QIC has been crowned “Best Travel Insurance Company in The Middle East” for the second consecutive year at the Global Banking & Finance Review Awards 2024. 

This prestigious accolade comes in recognition of QIC’s outstanding performance at the levels of travel products’ digitalization and customer service excellence regionwide, offering both outbound and inbound travelers the most convenient online experiences with extensive coverage that makes their trips to and from the region safer and more enjoyable. As part of its commitment to offering easier and better access to travel insurance for everyone, QIC introduced a series of market-first products over the past few months, including the fastest online solution to get visitors’ mandatory health insurance in Qatar, in addition to reaching record levels of reduction in turnaround time for outbound policy purchase in under two minutes via qic.online.

Showcasing Digital Capabilities at Web Summit Qatar 2024

Also in February, QIC was an active participant at Web Summit Qatar 2024, the world’s largest tech conference. A dedicated QIC Digital Hub booth acted as a unique platform to display the company’s latest digital offerings, as well as its future plans pertaining to the development of new digital services across the region. The Digital Hub’s presence at the summit was also an opportunity for participants – including entrepreneurs, representatives of private sector companies, and investors from across the world – to exchange views and ideas on the future of digital services regionwide, and to discuss potential cooperation opportunities with QIC.

New Edutainment Branch at KidzMondo Doha

In line with its insurance literacy vision to expand the insurance culture in Qatar, in March 2024 QIC officially opened its first interactive edutainment establishment at the KidzMondo Doha theme park in the Mall of Qatar. Designed to help youngsters boost their self-confidence and realize their full potential, the new QIC mini branch offers a fun-filled introduction to the world of insurance and its related industries, including customer services, money, risk management, and much more. Children at the branch are also given the exciting opportunity to practice what they have learned by taking on the roles of underwriters, customer service agents, surveyors, and insurance adjusters in an interactive way.

Sustainability and ESG

On the back of becoming the first insurer in the Middle East to sign up to the United Nations Environment Programme-Finance Initiative’s ‘Principles for Sustainable Insurance’ (UNEP-FI PSI), QIC is committed to supporting Qatar’s endeavour to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030. To this end, the company is pursuing a board-approved Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework, has set out a long-term ESG strategy to support Qatar’s ESG commitments, and aims to adopt ESG policies into its underwriting and asset management philosophy. An ESG & Sustainability Committee is also in place to ensure that group-wide efforts are focused and channelled to achieve key targets.

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