Ahlia National Insurance Co (ANI), has received a licence to operate as a general insurer in Kuwait and is keen on expanding regionally in three years, Mr Wa'el Saleh Alkhatib, the company's vice chairman and CEO, has said.
Last May, ANI received the licence to operate as a general conventional insurer in Kuwait, thereby raising the number of local insurance companies to 29 in a market which has a total of 43 providers, including local and foreign players with GWP of around KWD249m ($823m) in 2017 according to Swiss Re sigma statistics. “Despite the crowded marketplace, there remains room for serious players which are willing to serve clients efficiently,” Mr Alkhatib told Middle East Insurance Review (MEIR) in an exclusive interview.
Starting with a paid up capital of KWD5m, ANI will differentiate itself from other players through the use of modern digital technology to enhance the quality services offered and claims handling. “Distribution is going to benefit largely from the online techniques either for purchasing policies or following up on the claim process. We plan to expedite the claims settlement processes to gain consumer satisfaction and adopt tailored applications for that purpose,” he said.
ANI’s founders include Kuwaiti and foreign investors, institutions and individuals, from various business backgrounds, said Mr Alkhatib. There would be captive business to provide the bread and butter at the initial stage but the company would target individuals as its major market.
“We will avoid price competition. Therefore we chose not to operate as a takaful operator as this segment is fully saturated. General lines will be our main target, then medical and lastly, motor,” Mr Alkhatib said.
Within the first five years, the company plans to be among the ranks of midsized insurers in Kuwait and generate an income of KWD12m. After three years, the company plans to tap life business, concurrently.
After entrenching its foothold locally, ANI looks to expand to other regional markets with Egypt, Jordan and Turkey on the radar, said Mr Alkhatib, who is a shareholder and cofounder with more than 20 years of experience in the regional insurance industry. He held various senior positions in Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and was most recently the deputy general manager at Jordan Emirates Insurance.