More jobs in insurance sector to be nationalized: SAMA governor

newsimageRIYADH — Technical and managerial jobs in the insurance sector will be soon nationalized, according to Ahmed Al-Kholifey, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). “About 58 percent of the jobs in the insurance and reinsurance companies have so far been Saudized,” he said during his opening speech at the 4th Saudi Insurance Symposium in Riyadh on Sunday. Al-Kholifey said that SAMA, in cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of Education, is granting scholarships to Saudi students to study actuarial sciences within the program of “Your Scholarship is your Profession”. SAMA also cooperates with a number of Saudi universities, headed by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and King Saud University, which provide such specialization to students. The SAMA governor highlighted the most important challenges facing the insurance sector in the Kingdom, its low contribution to the GDP recording 1.5% last year. He said SAMA has asked all car insurance companies to establish two separate departments, one for claims and the second for customer care. “Jobs in these two departments could fully be nationalized,” he said. Al-Kholifey referred to SAMA’s instructions to insurance companies to deposit the amounts of compensation for the claims and the amounts payable in case of cancellation of a policy directly in bank accounts of beneficiaries through bank transfer via a fast system, and settle claims of third party vehicle insurance for individuals, not exceeding SR2000, within a period not exceeding five business days from the date of receiving the claim. “SAMA has launched 38 new initiatives under the title ‘Insurance Vision 2022’ so as to increase the number of insured cars,” he said, adding that the drop in the number of the insured vehicles have raised the insurance premium. Abdulaziz Al-Sudais, Chairman of the Insurance General Committee, said that the insurance sector has witnessed a remarkable increase, as the total gross written premiums reached SR36.8 billion in 2016, gross claims paid reached SR26 billion and profit growth reached SR2.1 billion compared to SR810 million in 2015 with an increase of 160 percent. Hisham Tashkandi, director of SAMA’s department to supervise the insurance companies, said that since early April the Authority has made new parameters for insurance companies asking them to focus more on the data about drivers rather the cars. “The data should consist of driver’s nationality, age, place of residence and other important information,” he said. Tashkandi said SAMA would give the violating insurance companies three warnings at different times to correct their violations otherwise they would be banned from selling their products.