Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) focused insurer, has reported an overall group underwriting loss of QAR 131 million (USD 36 million) for the first nine months of 2020.
Results were impacted by a net group underwriting loss of QAR 83 million (USD 22.8 million).
The company acknowledged that the performance of several of its operating subsidiaries had been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures in key economies.
But despite this, QIC’s year-on-year gross written premiums grew by 4% year-on-year to QAR 10.2 billion, primarily driven by rate hardening in commercial insurance and reinsurance.
Alongside these developments, QIC’s domestic and MENA operations continued to drive forward the digitization of its personal lines business
Furthermore, QIC’s investment portfolio performed reasonably well even as the global financial markets experienced very high levels of volatility.
Following the pandemic outbreak, global central banks and governments took unprecedented measures like sharply cutting interest rates, extending or relaunching quantitative easing programs, providing incentives or subsidies to prop up the economic activity.
The pandemic as well as the central bank and government actions had a significant impact on asset values, and QIC saw its portfolio value drop significantly in Q1 and the first half of Q2, before largely recovering in Q3.
Overall, this led to the company achieving a net investment income of QAR 454 million during the first nine months of 2020.
During this period, QIC also improved its administrative expense ratio for its core operations by 6%.
Earlier this year, QIC Group issued USD 300 million perpetual non-call 5.5 year subordinated Tier 2 capital notes, which helped to strengthen its capital position.
“QIC Group benefits from its very strong and robust risk-based capital adequacy in combination with the scale and diversification of our business portfolio,” said QIC’s Group President, Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey.
“We are encouraged by the resilience that QIC Group has demonstrated in these unprecedented times. While consumers and businesses in major economies were in lockdown, we continued to generate strong organic growth originating from our online personal insurance business in the MENA region, a clear testimony to the strength and goodwill of the QIC brand and the trust and confidence customers place in the Group. The growth was further benefited from the hardening of commercial rates.”