Sustainability Within the Insurance Sector

Alaa El-Zoheiry
Managing Director: Arab Misr Insurance Group “gig”

Arab Misr Insurance Group “gig” has an increasing focus on social inclusiveness. Could you tell us more about the impact you are having?

We have created an action plan to promote sustainability and a general awareness guide towards sustainable insurance. This will include managing natural risk, climate change, access to all segments of society, and affordability of insurance. We will have some seminars and workshops that will utilize the means to raise awareness of sustainability principles in insurance companies' internal working environment. One of the things that we are working hard on to apply this concept is reducing poverty as a significant goal for us in the medium term. We have also launched a micro insurance committee to help develop micro-insurance products and create greater awareness for the microinsurance segment. Over the last few years, this has helped us increase the number of microinsurance clients up to 6 million clients in the Egyptian insurance market. One of our long-term goals is to respond to global climate change and other environmental challenges. We are working together with the Finance Regulatory Authority (FRA) to put together a natural hazard insurance pool; the pool is designed to provide capacity to the insurance market to find ways to offer reinsurance and provide coverage for natural hazards and climate change.

When you talk about sustainable measures, how does this influence your products?

We are aiming to raise some awareness for our clients and internal organization to understand the importance of adjusting our business model towards a more inclusive and environmentally respectful service. When it comes to this business transformation, we have seen that the insurance market is refraining from accepting any significant changes in its business models because it will affect the life of 50,000 inhabitants. We are trying to be honest to raise awareness within the insurance market in Egypt. It's not going to be an easy one, I know. We will take some time to explain and have people understand the concept behind adopting a more sustainable philosophy.

What are the ambitions for your organization by 2030?

We have seen 6 million new clients in microinsurance. We have paved the road for the insurance companies to access these 23 million clients via doing a one to one contact with the post office. So, if you are talking about 26 million clients, you're talking about 25% of the Egyptians.

On the other hand, the pool will allow the Egyptians, once you issue a new passport or renew your passport, to automatically have a seven-year cover for travel insurance, and you pay a very nominal premium; you'll be covered for seven years. So, you can go on trips for seven years. The Minister of Immigration agreed with us, and we signed a protocol with them. The regulator can initiate an insurance pool that can provide coverage for the Egyptians working outside the country. This will cover the body arbitration after this, together with a small element of personal accident. All these new ideas and efforts will sustain the insurance premium increase. We think there will be between 10% to 15% insurance premium increase every year for the insurance market. Of course, this is in addition to Egypt's many new projects running for infrastructure; we have about 22 new cities being built in Egypt. All of these need insurance during construction and the operational phases. We have a very positive outlook for the insurance market and the insurance companies.