Global reinsurer Swiss Re ranked Lebanon the first in the MENA region and 46th out of 147 countries globally in terms of total insurance premiums to gross domestic product in 2011.
The country maintained the lead in the MENA region for the seventh year in a row and its global rankings improved by six notches from 2010.
The report was carried by Bank Audi Lebanon Weekly Monitor.
Lebanon’s insurance penetration (insurance premiums to GDP) was at 2.9 percent in 2011, compared to 2.8 percent in 2010. The share was equal to that of Morocco and higher than those of Bahrain and Jordan. It also exceeded that of the MENA region which stood at 0.9 percent and remains more or less in line with that of the emerging markets which reached 2.7 percent.
In terms of insurance density (premiums per capita), Lebanon, with a total of $287 compared to $253 in 2010, came in fifth on a regional basis and 52nd on a global basis. The country’s insurance density exceeded the $86.4 recorded by the MENA region and the $117.8 recorded by emerging markets.
In terms of total premiums, the survey ranked Lebanon 63rd in the world, with $1,221 million in total premiums reported in 2011, up by 9.6 percent from $1,115 million in premiums reported in the previous year.
Life premiums accounted for 28 percent of total premiums in 2011 with $343 million, while the non-life business, or general insurance market, continued to represent the bulk of insurance activity in Lebanon, with 72 percent, or $878 million.
Life premiums in Lebanon increased by 10.4 percent and non-life premiums by 9.3 percent from 2010.
Lebanon’s insurance premiums accounted for 5.3 percent of total premiums in the MENA region in 2011, taking up the fifth highest share in the market after the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Egypt.